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Swim Reaper
Industry Gold - Not-for-Profit, Channel Silver - Social Media & Viral
FCB New Zealand
Water Safety New Zealand
Entrant Credits
James Mok, Tony Clewett, Jenni Doubleday, David Shirley, Melina Fiolitakis, Nick Smith, Simon Pengelly, Angela Spain, Lauren Watling, Richard Surrey, Michael Braid, Claire Backhouse, Lena Aziz, Joanna James, Laura Platts, Katie Smith, Sean Keaney, Katya Frolova, Emilie Watts, Murray Streets, Rufus Chuter, Andrew Coulthard, Desita Anggrani, Jackie Alpatt
Nominee Credits
Jonty Mills, Sheridan Bruce, Ben Christie
Entry Rationale
Water Safety NZ (WSNZ) is a charitable organisation that has a vision for all Kiwis, New Zealanders and visitors to have a safe experience in, on or around the waterways of Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

New Zealand has the 10th highest drowning toll per capita in the OECD. On average, 107 people die in NZ waters each year, with 78 of these deaths preventable.

Young men disproportionately make up more than a third of preventable drownings in New Zealand. That’s because they love doing dumb stuff. Give them a high cliff to jump off and they’re as happy as can be. But it’s this kind of behaviour that’s killing them.

The campaign needed to cut through the noise and engage with this group in a relevant way; and even get them to spread the message for us – especially important, given the modest budget. Once engaged you could convince them to modify their behaviour around water through smart media targeting. But to get through to them the media and tone would be all important.

Key insight is that this cynical audience reacts badly to authority. Positive safety messaging simply doesn’t resonate. The campaign needed to be different. Therefore, we took up a darkly comedic standpoint.

Introducing the Swim Reaper…

The Swim Reaper looked to claim as many lives as possible by openly encouraging young people to be dumb around water. However, in doing so, he ironically points out the stupid behaviours that can lead to fatalities.

The campaign achieved great results including:

•  Increased awareness of Water Safety with the Swim Reaper campaign reaching        over 82% of the Men 15-24 in NZ.
•  Strong engagement with one in three people commenting on Swim Reaper              content, and 10% of all people under 25 in NZ following the @iamswimreaper          content.
•  64% of impressions on Facebook were not paid for showing how widely the              content was shared.
•  Over the peak summer period, drownings of young men totalled zero.