Silver Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

CategoryB09. Sponsorship & Brand Partnership

The Campaign

In 2017, over half a million New Zealanders used Google Maps every day. But the automated voice wasn’t pronouncing Maori place names correctly. In fact, our native language wasn’t just declining; it was being butchered. With Vodafone connecting half the country to Google Maps – and with aural and oral assimilation the best way to learn a language – we saw this as a prime opportunity to contribute towards a revitalisation of Te Reo. So, we created ‘Say It Tika’ (Say It Right); a campaign that rallied the nation to help Google Maps find and fix its pronunciation blunders at This interactive site enabled locals to listen to every Maori place name in the country on a digital map, and drop a pin wherever Google Maps was falling short. Vodafone and Google then worked with linguists to fix these phonetic errors.


With a limited PR budget of $15,000, earned media had to be our biggest ally in driving people to So, not only did we launch during Maori Language Week to ensure maximum topicality, we enlisted renowned Maori actor, Temuera Morrison (Jango Fett), to star in a social video New Zealanders couldn’t ignore; Tem using Google Maps while riding a cow. This social video called on locals to help find Google Maps’ pronunciation blunders. Within hours of launching, it got the media buzzing and thousands flocking to to hunt down mispronounced place names. As planned, we used this preliminary website data to develop a list of the most pinned places. We then used this as a fresh angle to tell regional news outlets New Zealanders had identified their town as one of the most mispronounced place names. This secured a second wave of earned media.

In just 14 days, we secured 130 news items with 100% positive sentiment. And we achieved top tier media coverage in outlets including One News, The Project, The AM Show, Breakfast, Radio New Zealand, More FM, NZ Herald Focus and In total, we reached over half the population. Analysis of Say it Tika website traffic also revealed the site received more hits through organic Google searches than through social media. This provided evidence that most people visiting Say it Tika heard and saw the campaign through earned media and PR. Say It Tika also became Vodafone’s most successful social communication ever, with 60% organic reach, an engagement rate of 4% (four times the industry norm) and 99.8% positive sentiment (six times Vodafone’s benchmark). Most importantly, we exceeded Vodafone's target of 2,500 place name pins. Instead, we blew this objective by 2,591%, with a total of 67,800. De-duped, this resulted in 9,598 unique place names being identified as mispronounced. Google Maps have now set about fixing these. We see this as the campaign’s most defining result.

The Situation

New Zealanders have a latent fear our native language is rapidly declining. Say It Tika ignited their desire to proudly preserve the Maori language. However, with a limited media budget, earned PR was vital to make this a project of national importance. So, to ensure newsworthiness and topicality, we launched during Maori Language Week with New Zealand’s most well-known Maori influencer spearheading the campaign. We also harnessed regional pride, releasing the most pinned place names to provincial journalists, securing a surge in earned PR coverage.

The Strategy

Pre-launch, we seeded Say It Tika to journalists and news personalities. It’s in their job description to pronounce Maori place names correctly, making them natural advocates. We chose to reach out just days before Maori Language Week - making Say It Tika even more newsworthy. We also reached out to Maori influencers, such as Thor Ragnarok director, Taika Waititi, who would champion the project and encourage fans to participate. We then targeted New Zealanders with our hero social video who were most likely to engage and share it with friends; a social media audience with an interest in Maori culture and an open mindset. Then, to guarantee momentum beyond launch, we used preliminary data from the Say It Tika microsite to identify the most ‘pinned’ place names. We released these to regional media for a fresh angle on the project, to generate more engagement and social sharing.


Name Company Position
James Mok FCB New Zealand Chief Creative Officer
Tony Clewett FCB New Zealand Executive Creative Director
Matt Barnes FCB New Zealand Digital Creative Director
Lennie Galloway FCB New Zealand Creative
Thomas Gledhill FCB New Zealand Creative
Jenni Doubleday FCB New Zealand Creative Services Director
Nick Smith FCB New Zealand Head of Design
Pip Mayne FCB New Zealand Head of Content
Fleur Head FCB New Zealand Managing Director
Jo Taylor FCB New Zealand Group Account Director
Karla Fisher FCB New Zealand Group Account Director
Emma Richardson FCB New Zealand Senior Account Director
Ra Kahukiwa FCB New Zealand Senior Account Manager
Murray Streets FCB New Zealand General Manager - Innovation and Strategy
Angela Spain FCB New Zealand Head of PR, Activation and Social
Joanna James FCB New Zealand PR Senior Account Director
Katie Smith FCB New Zealand PR Executive
James McMullan FCB New Zealand Executive Digital Producer
Andrew Jackson FCB New Zealand Digital Designer
Andrew Johnston FCB New Zealand Digital Developer
Arvid Erikkson Untold Director/ Photographer
Nigel Foster Sale Street Suite Sound Engineer
Matt Williams Vodafone New Zealand Consumer Director
Louise Kuegler Vodafone New Zealand Head of Brand and Insights
Liz Wilson Vodafone New Zealand Head of Brand and Consumer Communications
Natasha Hirtzel Vodafone New Zealand Marketing Communications Manager
Ryan Pellet Vodafone New Zealand Digital Marketing Manager
Mark Milicich Vodafone New Zealand Social Media Producer
Alessandra Nixon Vodafone New Zealand Digital and Social Media - Consumer Brands and Comms
Alessandra Nixon Vodafone New Zealand Digital and Social Media - Consumer Brands and Comms
Website URL