Gold Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

Product / ServiceCHARITY
CategoryA06. Not-for-profit / Charity / Government
Idea Creation SPECIAL Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Media Placement SPECIAL Auckland, NEW ZEALAND


Name Company Position
Carl Sunderland Motor Neurone Disease New Zealand CEO
Emily King Motor Neurone Disease New Zealand Communications Specialist
Lisa Fedyszyn Special NZ Executive Creative Director
Jonathan McMahon Special NZ Executive Creative Director
Arnya Karaitiana Special Creative Director
Tom Johnson Special Senior Copywriter
Kimberley Scott Special Art Director
Kelly Grindle Special Head of PR and Influence
Briar Rowsell Special Media Director
Isabeau Brimeau Special Senior Business Manager
Priyanka Patel Special NZ Group Business Director
Jen Wood Special Integrated Producer
Gavin Le Claire Special Studio Manager
Ky Lee Special Designer
Carolyn Ihaia Special Studio Artworker
Steve Gulik The Post Office Producer and DOP
Alexander Gandar The Post Office Director

Why is this work relevant for Media?

David's Unusables hijacked New Zealand’s leading online marketplace to increase awareness of Motor Neurone Disease and raise vital funds for those living with the debilitating condition. David (who is living with MND) sold his items in a timeline reflective of his deterioration, with each listing revealing the devastating reasons the item had become unusable to him. By doing so, the campaign turned New Zealand's leading online marketplace into an education resource, and helped raise crucial funds at the same time.


MND (Motor Neurone Disease) is an incurable condition that gradually causes muscles in the body to waste away – leading to the loss of every physical capability. MND NZ is a charity that supports people living with MND, their carers, families, and health professionals through support, education, advocacy and research. Despite having the highest diagnosis rate in the world, awareness of this condition in New Zealand remains very low. With 95% of funding for essential care coming from public donations, MND NZ needed to educate the public and raise funds to ensure those living with the disease can maintain some quality of life while this incurable condition takes everything away from them.

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

David’s Unusables dramatised the impact MND has on people by selling household items belonging to someone living with MND (David) in a digital timeline of their deterioration. Starting with recreational items such as bikes and fishing rods, the items became more everyday as time went on to show how many simple abilities were being taken away from him. The items were listed on New Zealand’s leading marketplace, TradeMe, as they became unusable to him, with each listing describing the devastating reasons they had become unusable. The online auctions were supported by infomercials, OOH, PR, radio, social and digital media.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Compared to other illnesses, very few New Zealanders have either experienced MND or know someone who has it, so we set out to talk to people living with MND and this led to a powerful insight. For people living with MND, the life you’ve led, is not the life you will lead. The debilitating nature of MND means that over time your muscles will deteriorate to a point where you have to give up many of the activities you once did. From taking your dog for a walk to cutting into your favourite piece of steak – MND forces you to surrender a lot of the actions and activities that defined you. We needed New Zealanders to experience this for themselves to truly understand it and care about. THE STRATEGIC BREAKTHROUGH: Demonstrate to New Zealand that MND will deprive you of the life that you have led.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

TradeMe is visited 1.9 million times every day with thousands of bids placed every hour, but they had never worked with an NFP in this capacity before. This meant we had a unique media platform to reach a national audience. Starting on MND Awareness Day on June 21st 2021, we created a TradeMe store – David’s Unusables – where 33 items were listed in a timeline relative to David’s physical deterioration. Infomercial-style films highlighting the variety of items available for sale ran across social media and we leveraged native & digital display within TradeMe to drive store traffic and showcase individual items. Paid media units on every listing gave people the opportunity to donate if they couldn’t bid. A comprehensive PR plan maximised editorial attention with bespoke outreach for broadcast, regional, consumer and health publications. All 33 items sold, turning every bid into an opportunity to educate NZ on MND.

List the results (30% of vote)

The listings were viewed 63,765 times, and the campaign reached 1.5 million New Zealanders (total population 5.52 million). The store generated $293,000 in FOC media value. Even though donations were not a primary objective, this activity directly contributed over $7,000 to MND through the TradeMe store page. This campaign made headlines, and the headlines told David’s story: We’ve generated much needed attention for MND through ‘David’s Unsuables’, securing 41 individual PR articles, including from major news outlets such as: Newshub at 6pm Radio New Zealand Newstalk ZB NZ Herald Stuff More FM Newshub Online Northern Advocate MSN New Zealand Whangarei Leader NZ Doctor And several more regional and digital publications. This coverage was worth over $350k in advertising value equivalent and had 7.9 million impressions. This activity has delivered a media ROI of $13 for every $1 spent.


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