Live Rescue

Issue 16 | September 2010


DDB Auckland New Zealand

Creative Team

Writer: Matt Swinburne; Art Director: Brett Colliver; Group Executive Creative Director: Toby Talbot; Deputy Creative Director: Regan Grafton; Creative Director, Tribal/DDB: Daniel Wright; Interactive Designer, Tribal/DDB: Steven Leong; Senior Developer, Tribal/DDB: David Vaughn; Developer, Tribal/DDB: Rowan Oulton; Editor, DDB: Steve Gulik

Other Credits

Account Executive: Sarah Burilin; Account Director: Libby Weston-Webb; Agency Producer: Tania Jeram; Senior Account Manager, Tribal/DDB: Tim Culinane




New Zealand’s coastline is almost as long as the USA’s with more reckless, irresponsible, and intoxicated boaties than anywhere else. With little government funding, the New Zealand Coastguard patrols this vast area with just 75 boats. They wanted to show how tough this can be and why they need support.


By staging a live rescue event, the New Zealand Coastguard hoped to give the  country a wake-up call – to behave more sensibly when at sea and to encourage greater funding from Government.

A boat was capsized, stranding 4 people in the ocean. At 18.10pm, real time POV TV and radio spots put viewers into the shoes of a Coastguard volunteer trying to recue the missing people. They were directed online where they could fly a search plane simulator. A GPS locator provided the live position of the real capsized boat but darkness began to close in.


Thousands soon realised it was a hopeless situation. Only 1.8% located the missing people. It left everyone with the sobering thought that if they had been the ones who had capsized, they had less than a 2% chance of survival.

A 20% increase in visitors to the Coastguard website led to a 900% increase in online donations and overall donations were up 41%.

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