Saatchi & Assembly shoot survival tales for Maritime NZ

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AUCKLAND, Monday: A confronting account of one man’s struggle for survival at sea inspired a captivating campaign for Maritime NZ using an innovative production technique created by Saatchi & Saatchi, and launched today as Kiwis take to the water for summer. 

Grounded in the life-saving message of always having a VHF radio onboard to be able to call for help in emergency, wreckage from salvaged boats was scanned and used to create the tvc, a process that was both technically challenging and humbling for the production team at Assembly and Saatchi & Saatchi.

‘Murray’, whose tale is recounted on the tvc, found himself in a terrifying predicament when his boat rolled earlier this year while fishing with two mates. His quick thinking and use of channel 16 on his VHF radio meant his distressed position was quickly made clear to Maritime NZ’s radio service, rescue services and every vessel in the area.

He and his crewmates were rescued, but the outcome could have been devastatingly different.

Maritime NZ director Keith Manch said he was proud to launch the first NZ public sector TV campaign, designed to encourage more boaties to take a VHF radio onboard and do an online radio course.

“Only one in four boaties carry a VHF radio. Murray wasn’t just lucky – he had his radio with him, plus he knew how to use it.”

“Only one in four boaties carry a VHF radio and it’s such a vital bit of communication equipment,” Manch said. “Murray wasn’t just lucky – he had his VHF radio with him, plus he knew how to use it.”

Saatchi ECD Guy Roberts said: “Boating holds such a special place in the hearts of Kiwis, yet hearing the traumatic tale brought home the incredible importance for this message to be heard in a fresh, authentic and almost raw way.

“The jarring realisation that someone’s ruined pride and joy has been used to visualise this message is a very thought-provoking way to approach the creative treatment.

“From photographing and scanning salvaged boats all over the country, to building seascapes with ripped canvas to hand-animating gannets made from fibreglass shards, bringing this real story to life has been an incredible challenge and one that we have relished.”

Assembly director Jonny Kofoed said: “We’re super proud of the end result.”

The campaign will be rolled out as a 30-second and 15-second tvc, a radio spot and POS poster, as well as being extended across Maritime NZ social media.

Take 2!
Maritime NZ’s advice to boaties is always take two waterproof ways to call for help. Around the coast, a VHF radio will usually be the best. If you are not sure about VHF coverage where you will be boating, take a distress beacon. A cellphone in a waterproof bag and flares can also be used.


Creative agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Media: Starcom
Production company: Assembly
Sound design: Harmonic Studio

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