|Title||MEDDLE IN THE NEW ZEALAND ELECTION|
|Brand||EVERY KIWI VOTE COUNTS|
|Product / Service||EVERY KIWI VOTE COUNTS|
|Category||A07. Not-for-profit / Charity / Government|
|Entrant||SPECIAL GROUP Auckland, NEW ZEALAND|
|Idea Creation||SPECIAL GROUP Auckland, NEW ZEALAND|
|PR||POEM GROUP Sydney, AUSTRALIA|
|Production||SWEETSHOP Auckland, NEW ZEALAND|
|Post Production||LIQUID STUDIOS Auckland, NEW ZEALAND|
|Additional Company||LIQUID STUDIOS Auckland, NEW ZEALAND|
|Tracey Watkins||Every Kiwi Vote Counts||Founder|
|Tony Bradbourne||Special Group New Zealand||CEO/CCO|
|Michael Redwood||Special Group New Zealand||Managing Partner|
|Heath Lowe||Special Group New Zealand||Executive Design Director|
|Rory Gallery||Special Group New Zealand||Head of Strategy|
|Jonathan McMahon||Special Group New Zealand||Executive Creative Director|
|Lisa Fedyszyn||Special Group New Zealand||Executive Creative Director|
|Till Dittmers||Special Group New Zealand||Art Director|
|Jack Gravatt||Special Group New Zealand||Copywriter|
|Daisy Conroy-Botica||Special Group New Zealand||Social & Brand Strategist|
|Bonnie Shum||Special Group New Zealand||Account Director|
|Sally Lankshear||Special Group New Zealand||Senior Producer|
|Jo Kelly||Special Group New Zealand||Senior Producer|
|Hamish Kuka||Special Group New Zealand||Graphics|
|Tracey Lee||Independent||Strategic Lead|
|Brogan Lipman||Poem||Social Media Strategist|
|Angus Roberts||Poem||Social Media Strategist|
|Adam Luxton||Sweetshop||Director Of Photography|
|Ben Dailey||Sweetshop||Executive Producer|
|Kate Roydhouse||Sweetshop||Executive Producer|
Come election time, Russian meddling is a hot topic. Whether you like it or not, you’ve got to hand it to them, they know how to get a headline and a result. So, to get overseas New Zealanders to vote online in their own elections we saw an opportunity in turning to the leaders in online election influencing. We created a socially led campaign that had a sharable nature at its core. Just like the Russians, our posts were specifically targeted at our audience, the pages they follow and the news outlets they subscribe to.
Only 1 in 10 overseas New Zealanders voted in their country’s 2017 election. And with an estimated one million Kiwis living overseas, that’s approximately 20% of our country’s population, not having their say. Once they could claim it was too hard, but with eVoting there’s really no practical excuse. So, to get overseas voters to act, we needed a memorable and effective approach that would get kiwis talking about how easy, and important, is was to actually cast their vote.
In order to effectively influence overseas non-voters we turned to the experts of online election influencing. Yes, we turned to the Russians. On 30 September 2020 (the day online registrations opened), our spokesperson, Viktor, kicked off the social campaign calling for overseas Kiwis to “meddle”, explaining that the process was easy and there was, “No need for a sneaky VPN.” Then, every day for 18 days, until election day, Viktor posted videos talking about how he “planned to hack… away to convince overseas Kiwis to vote” and or “touch data base… I mean… touch base” in order to get everyone to vote. His posts sent people directly to the right place to vote and called on overseas Kiwi celebrities to get involved. He even appeared in outdoor billboards in heavily Kiwi-populated cities such as London, to spread the word about how easy it was to “meddle.
Of the one million New Zealanders living overseas, the majority live in Australia, with the remainder primarily in the UK, US, Canada, Europe and Asia. With such a scattered target we needed great reach, that spoke to these overseas New Zealanders, along with their friends and family, as well as influencers. And in a way that current and shareable. That’s why we decided to create a social media led campaign. From the day online registration opened, and over the course of 18 days until election day, we continuously targeted pages overseas Kiwis were most likely to frequent, from pages like “Kiwis in Aussie” and “Kiwis in London” which had a combined 100k followers. We also managed to meddle our way into major news sites around the world like The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, SBS News and all news outlets here in New Zealand.
In order to effectively influence overseas non-voters we turned to the experts of online election influencing. Yes, we turned to the Russians. On 30 September 2020 (the day online registrations opened), our spokesperson, Viktor, kicked off the social campaign calling for overseas Kiwis to “meddle”, explaining that the process was easy and there was, “No need for a sneaky VPN.” Then, every day for 18 days, until election day, Viktor posted videos talking about how he “planned to hack… away to convince overseas Kiwis to vote” and or “touch data base… I mean… touch base” in order to get everyone to vote. We strategically targeted his posts at social groups like Kiwis in London and Influencers like ‘Shit You Should Care About’ who shared them instantly. And soon, he had snuck his way on to The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, SBS News and all news outlets here in New Zealand.
Like all good Russian meddlers, Viktor got results. The campaign helped achieve the highest turnout of overseas voters on record, with a 42% increase in overseas voting. With over 80 million global impressions, the Electoral Commission said, “Every Kiwi Vote Counts undoubtedly mobilised resident overseas voters.” Viktor’s influencing was talked about and reposted by the likes of ShitYouShouldCareAbout (2.4 million followers) and former NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark. And overseas Kiwis thanked Viktor on for convincing them to vote, with one voting for the first time in 28 years. Overseas votes also disproportionately contributed to a historic Maori Party seat gain, with an increase of 60%, and contributed to the largest shift in electoral seats since 1999 - with the Northland Electorate seeing a change in party seat for the first time since 1938.