St Matthew in the City Church Print MARY CHRISTMAS by Whybin\TBWA Auckland


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Industry Public awareness
Media Print, Magazine & Newspaper
Market New Zealand
Agency Whybin\TBWA Auckland
Executive Creative Director Andy Blood
Creative Cece Chu Whybin Tbwa, Ryan Price Whybin Tbwa
Illustrator Elena Panaita
Released December 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Print or Standard Outdoor in a Promotional Campaign
Executive Creative Director: Andy Blood (Whybin\TBWA\ Tequila)
Creative: Ryan Price (Whybin\TBWA\ Tequila)
Creative: Cece Chu (Whybin\TBWA\ Tequila)
Illustrator: Elena Panaita (Whybin\TBWA\ Tequila)
Production: Michelle Hong (Whybin\TBWA\ Tequila)
Account Manager: Tineke Van Der Walle (Whybin\TBWA\ Tequila)
Media placement: Billboard - Billboard Auckland CBD - 14th December 2011

Describe the objective of the promotion.
St Matthew-in-the-City is a progressive Anglican Church. And it's different. St Matthew does not pass judgement and it does not push religion. Instead, St Matthew chooses to offer acceptance, encourage broad-based spirituality, advocate discussion, and promote debate.

The annual Christmas billboard is eagerly anticipated and previous messages have attracted worldwide attention. The church has built a reputation by courting (some would say) controversial themes.

In 2011, St Matthew’s wish was simple; create discussion by reminding people where the glorious day we know as Christmas truly began.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
For as long as there has been religion, there has been art depicting it. By using a visual language that embodied this long-standing practice, we created an image that had an inherent value and dispelled any notions of mockery. The contrast created between this traditional style of painting and the modern day scientific instrument depicted was vast. The final artwork was displayed free of copy and logo, however, the call to action implied was clear.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
St Matthews do not have a large advertising budget. However, they do have a small billboard. Our method of promotion relied entirely on creating one universal image that had the power to transcend all languages, and ultimately provide a catalyst for opinion. Although the billboard faced a busy intersection, we knew that this would have little impact in creating a viral sensation. We needed the billboard to live in the digital world, and our audience would be the ones to move it there. The image was created to be shared, and in the true spirit of Christmas, people obliged.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.

The image was shared with TV networks, online news portals, bloggers, commentators, and newspaper reports spreading the story of Mary and her 'testing time' far and wide. Within 24 hours, Mary's message was a talking point in the UK (Daily Mail/Daily Telegraph), in North America (NY Daily News), middle America (ABC) and across the globe.

Within three days, 21.5m visitors had passed through St Matthew's Facebook page. Their Facebook fans doubled. One group responded to the image so strongly that they decided to cut it down, ironically fuelling public interest even further.

Zero dollars spent. 21.5m views earned.