Special’s Smirnoff project continues into the night, Unitec campaign enters second phase







How do you make your booze brand stand out a little more? Creating a reality-type series that leverages the smart ideas generated by creatives is one way, and ratings for the Smirnoff Night Project, which made its debut just under two week’s ago, point to it being an effective concept (read all about the campaign, spearheaded by Special Group,here).

When the first episode went to air on 28 April, viewership apparently jumped by 38,000 on previous programming. But with any new television series, first episodes often generate hype and increased ratings. The real tester is how many people return for a second helping, and if figures quoted by Special Group’s creative director Tony Bradbourne are anything to go by, the show looks to be in good shape. According to Bradbourne, episode two, which screened on Thursday, went much the same way as the first, retaining its 38,000 jump of viewers. The episode focused on Amber Cadaver as she attempted to organise a zombie apocalypse in one of New Zealand’s most haunted buildings, the old Fever Hospital in Wellington.

And while Sunday Star Times reviewer Kate Mead made the show her pick of the week ahead of its debut, newspaper the Dominion Post also offered some kind words following the show’s debut, with Erica Thompson writing: “While it could have been perceived as an elaborate marketing exercise, the result is actually a well produced and highly entertaining showcase of Kiwi creativity.”

While the Smirnoff Night Project seems to have got off on the right foot, another Special Group campaign is getting set to enter into its second phase.

Part doco, part reality TV and part advertising, Special Group’s ‘Change Starts Here’ campaign for Unitec has over the past few months got us firmly acquainted with students Vicky Te Puni, Alex Riley and Netane Takau. And now with phase one done and dusted, the second of four phases has been launched, focusing this time round on the individual pressures and hurdles faced by the students, as well as introducing some of the tertiary institute’s lecturers and professors.

All up, the campaign will chart the student’s journey over a 12-month period, through 12 60 second ads/mini documentaries. A partnership between Unitec and Mediaworks, the entire project will culminate in an hour long documentary to be screened later this year on TV3. You can read about the ins and outs of the campaign HERE.

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