Mediaworks Nz Promo, Case study FOUR DUCK by Special Group NZ

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Industry TV Channels/Radio Stations and Programmes
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market New Zealand
Agency Special Group NZ
Director Jordan Dodson, Paul Rees-Jones
Creative Director Tony Bradbourne, Rob Jack
Art Director Iain Macmillan
Producer Tanya Haitoua-Cathro
Released January 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Live Events, Stunts and or Celebrity Endorsement
Advertiser: MEDIAWORKS
Product/Service: TV CHANNEL
Creative Director: Tony Bradbourne (Special Group)
Creative Director: Rob Jack (Special Group)
Art Director: Iain MacMillan (Special Group)
Writer: Antony Wilson (Special Group)
Managing Partner: Michael Redwood (Special Group)
Account Director: Annabel Rees (Special Group)
Director of Marketing and Communications: Roger Beaumont (Mediaworks TV)
Associate Director of Marketing: Amanda Wilson (Mediaworks TV)
Marketing Manager: Kristen Cartmer (Mediaworks TV)
Media Strategist: Nicky Greville (Spark PHD)
Director: Jordan Dodson
Director: Paul Jones
Producer: Tanya Haitoua-Cathro (Fatboy Films)
Editors: David Coulson/Digital Sparks
Sound: Ben Sinclair/Image & Sound
Artist: Florentijn Hofman
Duck Production: Warwick Bell (Fabric Structures Systems)
Production/Film co.: (Fatboy Films)
Media placement: Installation - Viaduct Harbour Auckland - 1st February 2011
Media placement: Full Page Press Advertising - New Zealand Hearld, Hearld On Sunday & Sunday Star Times - 5th February 2011
Media placement: TV Ad Channel Ident - TV3 & FOUR - 6th February 2011
Media placement: Billboard/Outdoor - Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch - 13th February 2011

Summary of the Campaign
To increase market share, niche TV music channel C4 decided to re-brand as a mass entertainment channel, FOUR. The challenge was to get across their philosophy of 'fun' to a broad audience in a cluttered media environment. Plus other TV channels would not run ads for a new rival.

So we flew in Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman to build us an enormous 40 foot high inflatable rubber duck and release it into Auckland Harbour.

The news broke immediately on national TV, newspapers, online and radio - completing the communication by explaining the story behind the duck. The next day we ran a full page newspaper ad, launching FOUR.

The duck bobbed around Auckland's busy harbour for a week, making hundreds of thousands of new friends. It became the most photographed object in New Zealand. And the most tweeted about.

We then turned these interactions into TV ads and idents to run on FOUR. Print, digital and outdoor media took the message to other parts of the country.

Viewership went up by 228% on the night of the channel's launch. Ad revenue increased by 48% from the same time last year. So in the end, everyone had something to smile about.

The Situation
Mediaworks TV wanted to reposition its niche youth channel C4 as a new, pure entertainment TV channel.

Other TV channels were not going to run TV ads for a new rival channel - so we had to be clever about it.
We decided to use the 'unpaid' mass media channels - namely TV news and current affairs, radio, newspaper and online (news sites, blogs and social networks like Facebook and Twitter).

The Goal
Rebranding from a niche music channel to a mass entertainment channel (FOUR) was an opportunity to increase market share, viewership and ad revenue.

The objectives of the launch campaign were to:
-Launch FOUR in a way that would attract the attention of the mass market (the new target audience).
-Create as much of an impact as possible for the budget
-Convey the new channel's philosophy of fun and irreverence.
-Utilize word of mouth and the social networks of our larger target audience.

The Strategy
The strategy was to launch with a bold stunt that we knew would be picked up by the national media. Through a carefully controlled 'fact brief' we made sure that they completed the communications loop by explaining why the duck was here (to launch brand new entertainment channel FOUR).

The following day we ran a full page launch ad for FOUR in the national newspaper, with a standout image of the duck in the harbour.

We left the duck in the busiest part of the harbour, by the restaurants and cafes, for one week. Hundreds of thousands of onlookers took photos and spread the word through Facebook and Twitter.

Footage of these interactions was used to make channel idents and TV ads for ongoing use.

We flew in Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman to oversee a one-off build of his design for a 40ft inflatable yellow duck.

It took 6 weeks to make, and used 800 metres of vinyl stitched together. The duck had to be fixed to a specially built 12 metre wide, 6 tonne circular steel pontoon.

It was assembled offsite, then brought to Auckland by truck. The launch was delayed 3 days because of high winds. Eventually the wind settled and it took an hour to inflate to its full height.

After the media had broken the story that day, we left the duck at the busiest part of the harbour, beside the bustling bars and restaurants, for a week.

It became the most photographed object in New Zealand, and the most tweeted about.

It was mid summer and the weather was perfect. It was a very bright yellow!

Documented Results
The giant duck wasn't just an ad, it was an event.

The story broke instantly across all national media - TV,
press, online and radio generating nearly $500,000 worth of
measurable editorial coverage in just over a week. Hundreds
of thousands saw the duck in the flesh, and spread the word
via social networks. Everyone was talking about the FOUR
duck and for anniversary week it became New Zealand’s most
photographed object.
FOUR’s launch was an instant success too - with viewership up
228% on launch night, and ad revenue 50% up after the first
month on air.
For the week it appeared, it was the most photographed object in New Zealand.