Grand Prix

Case Film

Presentation Image

Product / ServiceSPARK
CategoryB01. Brand-led Education & Awareness
Idea Creation COLENSO BBDO Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Media Placement PHD Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Production SWEETSHOP Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Post Production CREATURE POST Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Post Production 2 FRANKLIN RD Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Post Production 3 NAKATOMI Auckland, NEW ZEALAND


Name Company Position
Nick Worthington Colenso BBDO Creative Chairman
Levi Slavin Colenso BBDO Chief Creative Officer
Dan Wright Colenso BBDO Executive Creative Director
Matt Barnes Colenso BBDO Head of Digital
Piers Bebbington Colenso BBDO Managing Partner
Mike Davison Colenso BBDO Creative Director
Charlie Godinet Colenso BBDO Senior Art Director
Rob Graves-Morris Colenso BBDO Senior Copywriter
Codee MacDonald Colenso BBDO Art Director
Dean Pomfrett Colenso BBDO Design Director
Tennille Barnes Colenso BBDO Head of Digital Production
Ryan Butterfield Colenso BBDO Senior Business Director
Scott Chapman Colenso BBDO Head of Integrated Production
Payton Cox Colenso BBDO TV Producer
Jin Fellet Colenso BBDO Business Manager
Natasha Gill Colenso BBDO Head of TV
Renata Gordon Colenso BBDO Group Business Director
Ashlee Harris Colenso BBDO Integrated Producer
Lizzie McCollum Colenso BBDO CX Strategist
Claudio Varoli-Piazza Colenso BBDO Senior Digital Producer
Ning Zhu Colenso BBDO Senior Business Director
Joe Carter Colenso BBDO Communications Director
Anna Markova Colenso BBDO Technical Lead
Hannah Bay Spark Brand Lead partner
Sarah Williams Spark Tribe Lead Brand Experience
Frith Wilson-Hughes Spark Chapter Lead, Digital Performance & Social
Ingrid Bennie Spark Product Owner, Brand
Patrick Barnes Nakatomi Hardware Engineer
Tom Bremner Nakatomi Developer
Paul De Groot Nakatomi Electronics Engineer
Hamish Pain Nakatomi Lead Developer
Cara Szabo Nakatomi Project Manager
Emad Tahtouh Nakatomi Director of Technology
Andy Timms Nakatomi Creative Director
Mark Albiston The Sweet Shop Director
Lakshman Anandanayagam Creature Post Post Director
Kim Baldwinson Creature Post Post Production
Ryan Bird Freelancer Illustrator
Pete Circuitt The Sweet Shop / Studio Local Animation & VFX Supervisor
Ben Dailey Sweetshop Executive Producer
Shelley Farthing-Dawe Freelancer DOP
Troy Goodall Freelancer Photographer
Luke Haigh Freelancer Editor
Patrick Killeen Creature Post Animation
Jason King SixtyFour Retoucher
Cameron McColl Colenso BBDO Editor
Pete Ritchie Freelancer Colourist
Kate Roydhouse Sweetshop Executive Producer
Shane Taipari Franklin Rd Sound Design
Gerardine Turney Freelancer Photographer's producer
Luke Urquhart Colenso BBDO Editor


The effect of screen time on the overall wellbeing of our next generation is a growing, international concern. Whilst children’s brains are developing, mindless screen time directly correlates with an increase in multiple behavioural and mental wellbeing issues. Spark, New Zealand's leading telco has the brand purpose of “Helping all New Zealanders win big in a digital world”, so it’s never been more important for Spark to help kids use tech in a way that they can develop into happy healthy humans – technology isn’t going away, it’s just about how we use it. Spark wanted to offer a practical tool that helps parents have more positive conversations about digital in the home. By tapping into Kiwi’s innate love with rugby, Spark hoped to get kids (and parents) away from their screens and outside playing.

Describe the creative idea

In partnership with Gilbert Rugby, Nakatomi, and child psychologist Dr Emma Woodward, Spark developed a smart ball that helps families balance screen time with active playtime. Minute for minute. App modes were designed for both parent and child. The parent can monitor the child’s screen usage, and set goals, while the child can see how much screen time they have left, and check out their achievements. Through machine learning the smart ball can also detect float passes, spin passes, place kicks, drop kicks or punts. As a result, the technology gamifies active play. Our comprehensive on-boarding and weekly program with Dr Woodward, set the tone for the trial and helped participating families break down their digital balance goals in to achievable steps. The ball provided an unconscious bias about time spent on screens vs play, becoming an effective catalyst for good conversations about digital wellness in the family.

Describe the strategy

As tech has become much more sophisticated, tech use in early childhood is more pervasive, and the more children use screens the less they are able to self-regulate their screen use behaviour. Which is why it’s more important than ever to teach our kids how to use tech well in a way that supports learning but doesn’t interfere with their development into happy healthy humans. We know that there are huge benefits with good old fashioned play; increased blood flow to the brain through exercise can improve cognitive skills, focus, brain health and emotional development. Because of this, exercise makes it easier for children to learn. The Department of Health and Human Services say that children and adolescents age 6 and older need at least an hour a day of physical activity to enhance their growth and development, however, 1-in-5 kids don’t play outside at all on a typical day.

Describe the execution

70 prototypes were created for a 6 week public trial across New Zealand. Families were sent Play by Spark kits, with the smart ball, app and accessories. They then set their goals with leading child psychologist Dr Woodward, who offered advice throughout. This was supported by a fully integrated campaign that prompted the public to watch the trial, learn balance tactics and shape the future of Spark Play.

List the results

As a result of the campaign, 90% of kids started to become more aware of their screen time usage. 76% of families saw a positive change in their child’s behaviour. 44% of kids were sleeping better. 35% of our trial kids were self-regulating by the end of the program and this was sustained up to 3 weeks after. Over 2/3 of the kids mentioned that the best thing that they enjoyed about the trial was spending time with their parents. Play by Spark also caused an increase in brand love, which tracked 25% above the telco category average.


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