Saving the Last of the Giants

Entrant: FCB New Zealand
Nominee: Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
Awards: Channel Gold - Mobile Marketing, Craft Gold - Excellence in Data Strategy


The Kauri tree is facing extinction with dieback infecting over 500 trees. There is no cure. The disease is easily spread so compliant behaviours such as cleaning shoes needed to be adopted. A mass compliance message wasn’t working; too many people saw it as someone else’s problem to fix.

To successfully change the behaviour of non-compliant visitors, mobile data was used to build custom-audience groups, geo-fence every Kauri forest and then delivered highly personalised messages pre, post and during visits.

The strategy was built on clever data inputs that could deliver highly targeted audience messages within such tightly defined geographic locations.

Mobile was crucial as both an insights generator and the delivery channel – all in real-time. Those who received messages ‘In a Kauri forest’ had 5x higher engagement.

With cell coverage in every Kauri forest, mobile was the only channel with the right reach. Despite MPI being data-poor, many digital media partners were data-rich – holding millions of data points about who and where people are. This data was used to build out 10 potential audience groups.

Mobile device profiles from recent Kauri visits were used to provide reach and footfall volumes by location, along with behavioural learnings to optimise messaging for each audience. Then 80+ bespoke mobile creative variations were executed for the 10 audience groups, with hundreds of optimisations.

The campaign was a huge success with ‘always’ compliant behaviours increasing from 77% to 94%. Those who saw the personalised communications were 17% more likely to comply when visiting Kauri forests, from just 3 months of campaign activity.

Plus, the campaign created a real-time actual data source for the Kauri Dieback Programme, who now have forest locations, volumes of visitors and audience details. This information will continue to help drive compliance in the future.