Silver Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

Product / ServiceCHARITY
CategoryB06. Innovative Use of Influencers
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 PR?

Storytelling sits at the heart of this campaign – carefully constructed around a real person, facing a real challenge, set against a backdrop of a relatively unknown but horrific social issue facing NZ: our world-leading Motor Neurone Disease (MND) cases. With the absence of significant media budgets, we needed PR to do the heavy-lifting and secure the mainstream awareness MND desperately needed. The campaign was broken down and segmented to maximise editorial coverage – targeting television, radio, print, online and trade PR verticals. PR launched, led, and positioned the story: subsequently followed by social and digital drivers to maintain momentum.


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 (20% of vote)

‘David’s Unusables’ We facilitated the selling of items that someone living with MND (David) could no longer use, in a timeline reflective of their body’s deterioration. When he could no longer walk, we sold his shoes. When he could no longer balance, we sold his bike. When he could no longer feed himself, we sold his cutlery. We created a shopping channel where David along with NZ’s informercial queen, Suzanne Paul, helped sell David’s non-usable possessions. These informercials drove watchers to our online store on NZ’s leading marketplace for second-hand goods – Trade Me. Here, every item was able to be bid on and included photos of a once active David using them with stories about his once cherished possessions becoming inconsequential in his current state. “I’ll never be able to use these items again but you can use them to understand MND a little better” – David Seymour

Describe the PR strategy (30% 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 PR execution (20% of vote)

There were three PR building-blocks: 1. An industry-first partnership with TradeMe to create a ‘real-time’ auction 2. Visually arresting and disruptive content, fronted by ‘informercial queen’ Suzanne Paul 3. The heart-warming tale of our real-life hero David Seymour, who grounded our PR in authentic storytelling. These building-blocks were divided into a clear PR strategy: 1. Broadcast exclusive featuring our news, and our visual content; landing hero coverage in primetime 6pm news bulletins 2. Celebrity and consumer outreach, leveraging our campaign ambassador Suzanne Paul 3. Print, online and regional news outreach where David shared his story and the real-world impact this campaign has made.

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.


Supporting Webpage