Online & Digital

The Meddler

Every Kiwi Vote Counts

Issue 58 | March 2021


Special Group New Zealand

Creative Team

CEO/Chief Creative Officer Tony Bradbourne Executive Creative Directors Lisa Fedyszyn, Jonathan McMahon Art Director Till Dittmers Copywriter Jack Gravatt

Production Team

Senior Producers Sally Lankshear, Jo Kelly Production Company Sweetshop

Other Credits

Managing Partner Michael Redwood Executive Design Director Heath Lowe Head of Strategy Rory Gallery Social & Brand Strategist Daisy Conroy-Botica Account Director Bonnie Shum Client EKVC Founder/Strategic lead Tracey Lee


September 2020


Only 1 in 10 New Zealanders living overseas voted in their own elections. With roughly one million Kiwis abroad, that was a lot of people not having a say. So, in the 2020 election, nonpartisan initiative Every Kiwi Vote Counts wanted to convert non-voters.


There had been a lot of controversy about Russia influencing other countries’ elections but it did seem that those meddlers had got results! With a modest budget of NZ$47,000 (US$35,000 USD, GBP £25,000) the idea was to turn to the experts in online election influencing. Viktor, the Russian, led a campaign asking kiwis to ‘Meddle in the New Zealand election’. He targeted overseas Kiwis on social, through PR and outdoor in heavily Kiwi-populated cities, constantly sending people to his website to vote.


Like any good meddler, Viktor got the job done. Enrolment went up 24%, online votes cast were up by 42%, and the New Zealand parliament had the largest shift in electoral seats since 1999 and a Maori seat was historically gained.

Our Thoughts

The Caples Awards has a Courageous Client category and, if this campaign gets entered, Tracey Lee really should be in the frame. It’s funny because it’s so close to the bone. It wouldn’t have been surprising had Facebook chosen not to run the campaign, if only because it is a reminder of their behaviour in the run-up to the 2016 American election, when Olivia Solon wrote in The Guardian, “the truth of a piece of content is less important than whether it is shared, liked and monetised.”

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