Westpac Chopper Appeal

In New Zealand, May is Westpac Chopper Appeal month. The media have been covering the stories of survivors rescued by the choppers. Alongside this PR an advertising campaign with theme “changing the story” has been running.

In the radio ad a serious sounding reporter describes a car accident in a news bulletin. As the male announcer’s begins to report that there was no survivors due to the remote location the voice changes. We start to hear the mother of a crash survivor. She thanks the Westpac Chopper Rescue for saving her daughter, explaining if the Westpac Chopper hadn’t been able to reach her the story would have ended in tragedy.

In radio it’s often difficult to cut through the clutter of ads to get your message heard. Listeners tend to tune out anything that’s not music, or the news. By adopting a bulletin format the creative cleverly tricked me into paying attention.

The campaign also has a TV component. In this we see a woman lying in a crashed car at night. She’s obviously distressed and calls for help. She begins to cry, pleading for someone to rescue her. The ad finishes abruptly, inviting you to visit Chopper Appeal to change the story’s ending. Again the creative approach cut through the advertising clutter, it was uncomfortable to watch and hard ignore.

The actress has been perfectly cast. Her desperation draws you into her world. The video feels less like an ad and more like a drama.

In 2014 the appeal took a more traditional approach with this campaign “Every donation makes a big difference”

To donate to the Westpac Chopper Appeal visit: www.chopperappeal.co.nz

(Disclaimer: SilverStripe, who I work for, built the site) 

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