Shifting sands: Saatchi & Saatchi merges art with politics for Maori Electoral Roll campaign

The Electoral
Commission’s new campaign aims to spread the word among Maori about the choice available to
them in the Maori Electoral Option, a legislated event that runs approximately
every five years. And to do it, Saatchi & Saatchi enlisted the services of “performance painter” and sand artist Marcus Winter and embarked on what it calls a true collaboration. 


Saatchi & Saatchi’s executive creative director Antonio Navas says the main challenge with this campaign was to deliver a
message in a way that
didn’t preach to the audience, but instead embraced and included them and referenced the cultural and political issues surrounding it.  

“As an agency, we didn’t wish to dictate
anything, so we approached the project as a true collaboration,” he says. ”After broad consultation with various
groups, a wide-ranging team of talents was assembled early in the process, so
that our internal creative and production crew were joined at a very conceptual
level by artist Marcus Winter, composer Peter Hobbs (Harmonic Studios),
cultural advisors Rewi Spraggon and Tearepa Kahi, Liquid Studios and the visual
team at Spark, among many other contributors.” 

Murray Wicks, Enrolment Services, Electoral Commission national manager, says he’s proud that this approach “produced
something so graceful and powerfully simple” and says the response from diverse Māori
communities has been incredibly gratifying (it certainly appears to have been well-received on Facebook, with over 4,000 likes and plenty of comments). 

The campaign encompasses TV, radio, online, print and outdoor (including a boat). 



Services, Electoral Commission

Murray Wicks – National Manager

Anastasia Turnbull – Manager Communications
and Education

Robert Peden – Chief Electoral Officer

Rex Arrell – Manager Corporate Services


& Saatchi

ECD – Antonio Navas

Writer – Dave Sylvester

Art Direction – Mike Davison / Arnya Karaitiana

Design – Sam Stradwick

Producer – Natasha Gill

Suit – Tim Dixon

Planner – Peeyoosh Chandra


Artist – Marcus Winter

Production Company – Sparks

Producer/Director – Angela Sparks

DoP – Chris White

Editor – Philippe Lods

Music – Peter Hobbs (Harmonic)

Online – Puck Murphy


Rewi Spraggon

Tearepa Kahi

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