Silver Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

Product/ServiceHUMAN RIGHTS
CategoryB11. Brand Voice & Strategic Storytelling

Brief Explanation

With racism on the rise, we needed New Zealanders to see that racism starts small, and that even giving only a little to racism was helping it grow. When it comes to appeals, everyone understands that every little bit adds up and makes a difference. So our appeal did the same. The New Zealander of the Year, Taika Waititi, got New Zealanders to consider that every little bit of casual racism they were giving was contributing to the bigger cause. The reverse appeal left Kiwis feeling less comfortable feeding it, tolerating it, and allowing it to grow, and they committed instead to giving racism no laughs, no smiles, no positive reactions, no support.

The Campaign

When it comes to appeals, everyone understands that every little bit adds up and makes a difference. So our appeal did the same, showing Kiwis that every little tiny bit of casual racism they were giving was adding up and contributing to the bigger cause. With the reverse appeal, we challenged people to question how much they wanted to give to racism. This made even the smallest bit count, so they felt less comfortable feeding it, tolerating it, and allowing it to grow, and instead committed to giving racism no laughs, no smiles, no positive reactions, no support. ‘Give Nothing to Racism’ gave people a standard to live up to, and a way to respond to even the smallest examples of racism, in the real world and online.


Taika Waititi shared the video to his followers online on June 15th 2017, with additional posts from HRC. Launching in social, we challenged Kiwis to rethink their views on casual racism in a public forum to spark conversations around a topic people previously ignored or easily brushed off. ‘Give Nothing to Racism’ served as an answer in those debates, used continually as a tool to reframe online conversations and examples of casual racism. We identified active social commentators, businesses across all sectors, educational institutions, city councils, and over fifty influential Kiwi celebrities from across industries and ethnicities. We developed personalised approaches to each, seeding out the video alongside supporting context documents to encourage them to popularise the idea from launch. Tailored media releases for both mainstream and minority group news outlets ensured widespread and accurate framing of the discussion for New Zealanders to question their attitudes and own the campaign.

Viewed more times than the entire population of New Zealand, the campaign has reached 187 countries, covered extensively by all local news outlets, and internationally by The Guardian, The Independent, and The Telegraph, among other respected commentators. Racism is a politically-charged and volatile topic; however, the majority of news coverage used positive language to describe the “clever” approach. This is important context, because the clearest signal a media outlet can give that it's onside with this type of thinking is setting the campaign in context, which acknowledges need. Give Nothing to Racism has started a new conversation about the impact of causal racism. • 79% of people who saw Give Nothing recognized that even small acts of racism can be harmful • 40% thought about their own views and behaviours related to racism • 26% talked with others about racism • 14% changed their behaviour towards people of different racial backgrounds Businesses, schools and sports organisations are now working with the NZ Human Rights Commission to identify the impact of casual racism, and set a new standard. Three of our major cities have adopted it, and it was presented to the UN Committee on Racial Injustice as a significant action NZ has taken against racism. It continues to be used to help frame news stories and events. ‘Give Nothing to Racism’ is the theme and message for 2018 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, with events held all over the country (including at Government House).

The Situation

Casual racism is alive and well in New Zealand. Because it’s ‘little’, we laugh it off, ignore it, and accept it as it creeps into popular culture and mainstream media coverage. And so, it grows. In a provocative online video, New Zealander of the Year and Hollywood director Taika Waititi challenged the entire country with the question: what will you give to racism? ‘Give Nothing to Racism’ gave the country and our media a standard to live up to, a way to frame even the smallest racism, and kicked off a public national conversation about casual racism.

The Strategy

Targeting educated, urban New Zealanders who consider themselves respectful of other races, we interviewed Kiwis across the country and discovered a core value of our broad audience: they’re good people who didn’t believe in racism’s right to exist in any way. But, they also told us, they sometimes let casually racist comments and actions slide – either their own, or someone else’s – both online and offline because it seemed harmless. And yet, it wasn’t harmless. Racism lives on when we excuse it, give it room to breathe, and passively endorse it. We needed to show them those ‘nothings’ were casually racist ‘somethings’. This needed to be a direct challenge, but something media, organisations, and everyday New Zealanders could own and use to express their support in real world social situations, in news coverage, and in social media conversations, taking hold of the campaign and spreading it further.


Name Company Position
Dame Susan Devoy New Zealand Human Rights Commission Race Relations Commissioner
Michelle Tayler New Zealand Human Rights Commission Communications Manager
Christine Ammunson New Zealand Human Rights Commission Communications Strategist
Ryan Mearns New Zealand Human Rights Commission Digital Campaign Manager
Brett Hoskin Clemenger BBDO Wellington Managing Director
Brigid Alkema Clemenger BBDO Wellington Executive Creative Director
Emily Beautrais Clemenger BBDO Wellington Creative Director
Frances Cooke Clemenger BBDO Wellington Creative
Steve Boggs Clemenger BBDO Wellington Design Director
Ryan Christie Clemenger BBDO Wellington Digital Designer
Linda Major Clemenger BBDO Wellington Managing Partner
Bethany Omeri Clemenger BBDO Wellington Strategist
Robbie Allen Clemenger BBDO Wellington Project Manager
Charlotte Greally Clemenger BBDO Wellington Account Executive
Christina Hazard Clemenger BBDO Wellington Head of Content Production
Carne Godfrey Clemenger BBDO Wellington Producer
Ollie Stent Clemenger BBDO Wellington Editor
Paul Stent Clemenger BBDO Wellington Sound Designer
Kate Brown Clemenger BBDO Wellington Technical Director
Drew Kennelly Clemenger BBDO Wellington Back End Developer
Martin Hipp Clemenger BBDO Wellington Front End Developer
Matthew Amundsen Clemenger BBDO Wellington Software Tester
Jake Firman OMD Media Strategist
Edd Lucas OMD Media
Taika Waititi Curious Film Director
Matt Noonan Curious Film Producer
Brande Bytheway Curious Film Producer
Jesse Cain Curious Film DOP
Jonathan Venz Curious Film Editor
Pete Ritchie Pete Ritchie Colourist
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