Safer Boating campaign wins awards

Safe Seas Clean Seas Issue 51, December 2016

Maritime NZ’s innovative Safer Boating campaign has picked up four more New Zealand Effie advertising awards for its “Get it on or it’s no good” lifejacket campaign.

The campaign recently won Maritime NZ and advertising agency FCB Media four silver awards at the Communication Agencies’ Association of NZ advertising effectiveness awards. They were for social marketing/public service, effective use of digital technology, most progressive campaign, and most effective integrated campaign.

Maritime NZ Director Keith Manch says “it’s great that this advertising campaign is still being recognised for increasing the number of Kiwi boaties to wear lifejackets - four years after its launch - and is helping to save lives. The Effies are for effectiveness and have global recognition.”

Using a new digital advertising initiative, along with television and radio advertising, signage and other marketing, the campaign helped increase the number of male recreational boaties - the most resistant group - to wear lifejackets all the time by 10 percent (40%-44%).

The creation of a world-first, digital geo-fence around the whole of New Zealand’s coastline last summer has enabled reminders to be sent to boaties, using smartphones or mobile devices on the water, to get their lifejacket on.

“Virtual Coastwatch” uses GPS to identify mobile devices within a mapped area - within 15 kilometres of the coast. It automatically sends a lifejacket message via Facebook, Instagram, Google and 24 different advert networks. More than three million messages were sent to boaties last summer, telling them to “Get it on”.

The recreational boating fatality rate for the 2015/16 summer, when the campaign ran, was four; down from 20 the summer before. While that drop can’t be attributed to the campaign directly, the message is clearly getting through, Keith says.

“It also shows that innovative technology is an effective way of getting safety messages to Kiwis.”

Pania Shingleton.
Maritime New Zealand © 2019
Second from left, Maritime NZ Education and Communications Manager, Pania Shingleton, celebrates winning multiple awards for Maritime NZ’s innovative Safer Boating campaign, with members of the FCB Media team.

Virtual Coastwatch also won “Best Use of Mobile” and “Best in Show” at the CAANZ Beacon awards earlier this year, and was a finalist in the prestigious Cannes Lions awards in France.

The geo-fence was activated again on October 23 this year and will be in operation until the end of March.

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