|Title||OAT THE GOAT|
|Brand||MINISTRY OF EDUCATION|
|Product / Service||ANTI-BULLYING CAMPAIGN|
|Category||F02. Art Direction / Design|
|Entrant||FCB NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND|
|Idea Creation||FCB NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND|
|Media Placement||FCB NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND|
|PR||FCB NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND|
|Production||ASSEMBLY Auckland, NEW ZEALAND|
|Tony Clewett||FCB New Zealand||Chief Creative Officer|
|Matt Barnes||FCB New Zealand||Digital Creative Director|
|Lennie Galloway||FCB New Zealand||Creative - Copywriter|
|Thomas Gledhill||FCB New Zealand||Creative - Art Director|
|Jenni Doubleday||FCB New Zealand||Creative Services Director|
|Pip Mayne||FCB New Zealand||Head of Content|
|Rebecca Casey||FCB New Zealand||Producer|
|Sarah-Jane Ferens||FCB New Zealand||Account Manager|
|Corban Koschak||FCB New Zealand||Motion Graphics Designer|
|Carl Sarney||FCB New Zealand||Senior Strategist|
|Daniel Currin||FCB New Zealand||General Manager - Media Client Service|
|Nicole Earnshaw||FCB New Zealand||Account Director - Media|
|Anne Lipsham||FCB New Zealand||Head of Strategy - Media|
|Rebekah Gierlinska||FCB New Zealand||Strategy Director - Media|
The Ministry of Education needed to reduce New Zealand’s schoolyard bullying problem. Our online tale, Oat the Goat, made its way into Kiwi homes and turned the bedtime story moment into an engaging anti-bullying lesson. The tale itself directly called on children to help character ‘Oat’ decide what to do when he witnessed bullying. The journey couldn’t progress without children actively engaging in the story. To reach every child, regardless of socio-economic status, we made the tale free at OatTheGoat.co.nz. We also built it using WebGL so it could play across a broad spectrum of devices and internet connections.
Shockingly, New Zealand has the second worst rate of schoolyard bullying in the developed world. Last year, bullying was at record levels, with 94% of teachers witnessing it happening in their schools. The Ministry of Education acknowledged that their past method of telling children to say “Stop it, I don’t like it,” wasn’t working, and they needed a different approach. They also wanted to curb bullying at the earliest stage of a child’s development. So, our task was to create a resource that would captivate 4-7-year-olds and arm them with the tools they’d need to combat bullying in the schoolyard.
Unlike past (largely unsuccessful) campaigns that have tried to make victims more resilient, we shifted our focus to a previously unconsidered group - the bystanders. We recognised that attention is like oxygen for bullies, and it’s the bystanders that hold the real power. From this insight, we created ‘Oat the Goat’; an immersive online story where children and parents could help character ‘Oat’ navigate right and wrong as he witnesses bullying on his big adventure. An adventure only made possible by ignoring the bullies and being kind to the victims. While the tale showed children the right thing to do as a bystander, it also gave them freedom to make the wrong decisions in Oat’s world, so they’d learn to make the right decisions in the real one.
With a plethora of brilliant bed-time stories already in the market (and no PR budget on our side), we needed to be highly tactical at reaching 4-7-year-olds with our anti-bullying tale. So, we launched ‘Oat the Goat’ in primary schools across New Zealand during Bullying Free Week, 2018. Teachers became a crucial channel for us, sharing Oat’s story with children at mat-time - then encouraging them to continue or repeat the online tale with parents at bed-time. To frame Oat the Goat as a ‘must-read’ to parents, we also launched a 30 second teaser film on Facebook and YouTube, directly targeting parents of 4-7-year-olds. This film framed it as a tale that would ‘Help kids learn the power of kindness’ and called on families to visit oatthegoat.co.nz at bedtime.
Learning about bullying can often be a sombre affair. So, it was vital Oat the Goat never felt like a lesson. Just an enjoyable interactive bedtime tale that had a prominent take-away message – be kind to the victim. Each chapter was crafted to reflect native New Zealand environments so children could see themselves in the story. And we designed characters that mirrored those who get picked on most – like those of a different race, or just plain different. We also worked with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra to create an original, 78-piece orchestral score to reflect the epic nature of Oat’s 11-minute adventure. And, to ensure we reached every child, regardless of socio-economic status, we developed the tale using WebGL, so the music, narration and animation could play across a broad spectrum of devices and connections.
Just days after launching, Oat the Goat won the hearts of families, teachers and the New Zealand media with headlines such as “An absolute hit” and “Every child needs to read this” appearing across national news sites. Moreover: - In the first 3 weeks, OatTheGoat.co.nz received 105,000+ unique visits (far surpassing the 30,000 target) - Children spent an impressive average of 9 minutes engaged in the story. - To date, 85% of all 4 to 7-year-olds in New Zealand have read the online tale. - And, it’s now an official part of the New Zealand school curriculum. But, most importantly, we helped children around the country realise the power they have as bystanders – and equipped them with the language they need to help stop bullying at an early age.