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DUNEDIN, Monday: Parnell-based creative indie Rainger & Rolfe contributed writing and filmmaking skills to the University of Otago’s post-Covid recruitment campaign.

Otago marketing manager Shelley Winsor said: “During the early days of the lockdown, the university’s marketing team, like many brands, was grappling with how to market in such extraordinary times. 

“We were in the planning phase for our annual undergraduate and postgraduate recruitment campaigns and it didn’t feel right to not do something to acknowledge Covid-19.

“However, how could we do something that demonstrated tangible action?

“As the weeks went on the answer appeared on the news, on the radio, in newspapers and in our labs – our amazing academics become more and more pivotal to New Zealand’s response.

“There was the story that needed to be told.”

The pandemic has been a legacy moment for Otago with leading academics providing advice, specialist knowledge, public health and health science expertise to New Zealand’s health system, businesses, media, communities and leaders.

“There was the story that needed to be told.”

Respected global authorities like Professor Michael Baker, Dr Ayesha Verrall, Sir David Skegg, Professor David Murdoch, Professor Richard Blaikie, Professor Miguel Quinones-Mateu, Ms Lesley Gray and Dr Mai Ping are just a few of the many Otago academics playing a part in our country’s response.

On a scientific level, Otago’s PC3 lab is also conducting important work to help develop a vaccine using the only live virus in the country.

“Our next challenge was how to create a film during lockdown,” Winsor said.

“Rainger & Rolfe partnered with us to write the script and source news footage. We had footage from our Wellington campus team who had been documenting some of the stories, and as we came into Alert Level 2 we were able to film the campus, lab scenes and other academics.

“It’s been a collaborative creative process between our marketing team, our communications team, Rainger & Rolfe, local film teams and, of course, our academics.”

The 60 second and 30 second ads will appear on broadcast television, on demand and owned social channels.

Winsor: “This was always more than just creating an ad showcasing our academics and inspiring future students to come and learn from world-class experts.

“It was also about documenting a moment in time, something that all our staff, students, alumni and the wider community could feel really proud about.”


University of Otago
Director of Marketing: Todd Gordon
Senior Manager Marketing & Advisory Services: Shelley Winsor
Marketing Specialist: Vicki Roach
Marketing Coordinator: Claudia Flaws
Senior Communications Adviser: Mark Hathaway
Marketing Adviser Wellington: Fran Wright
Manager Marketing Content and Publications: Kim Connelly
Manager Website Design: Elliot O’Sullivan

Rainger & Rolfe
Ant Rainger
Chris Long
Simon McKechnie
Clockwork Films: Vicky Ryan, Matt Holmes
Big Tree Studios: David Liversidge
Levi Patel (music): “As we fall into static”
Reframed Media: Josh Jenkins and Joshua Jeffrey
Additional Wellington footage: Luke Pilkington-Ching
Starcom: Tamara Robinson, Alex Araya

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