Colenso BBDO 66 Clemenger BBDO Wellington 21 The Public Service Banger

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Levi Slavin, Kim Ragan, Brigid Alkema, Mark Dalton, Mike Gwyther, Steve Hansen, JP Twaalfhoven
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Kat Tadaki, Kim Scott, Lucy Grigg, Holly Sutton-Williams, Michael Swinburn, Karen Aguinaldo, Scott Chapman, Lizzie McCollum, Emma Tait, Amy Pollok, Brett Hoskin, Linda Major, Emma Brown, Nick Ascough, Zaaiyee Foong, Kirsten Chin, Hamish Steptoe, Kim Baldwinson, Lakshman Anandanayagam, Patrick Killeen, Beau Thoresen
  • Client
    Libby Clifford
Judge's comments:

The Public Service Banger managed to turn an important public health message into an entertaining viral sensation. The bold graphics, remixed and cut to to the’banger’ of a track, showed us Ashley Bloomfield in a whole new context, whilst redefining the idea of a public service announcement


New Zealand had successfully eliminated Covid-19, and the country was heading into summer virus-free – with large gatherings such as music festivals going ahead. However, too many Kiwis were adopting a complacent attitude towards health & safety.

Our objective was to innovate the government's existing design system, which ensures the credibility of information - to appeal to the most complacent NZers; young people attending large music festivals. A generation less likely to follow instruction, and more likely to be the drivers of superspreader events.

Our message was to ask them to wash & sanitise their hands, scan QR codes at events, and turn on their bluetooth enabled NZ Covid tracer app.

The problem was, our audience was there for a good time, not for a boring government announcement. That’s why the solution had to be more than a message, but an entertaining festival moment designed to sustain the behaviour change Kiwi’s needed.

Creative idea and execution.

So, we created the Public Service Banger.

The world's most unconventional Covid-19 Public Service Announcement.

In collaboration with local DJ, MACSEN, we produced a dubstep track & mind-bending music video that played at NZ’s biggest festivals. The track features ‘national treasure’, Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, telling festival-goers to wash & sanitise their hands, and use their bluetooth enabled NZ Covid-Tracer app.

Designed to play into the audio and visual landscape of festivals, the PSA used the government's existing branding - but made it physcadelic. Turning yellow stripes into kolidescopes, health icons into glitching animations and viruses into space invaders. All to the beat of some dirty dubstep.
The PSA played between sets, projected onto festival screens, turning each stage into a free media channel, and the message of safety into an unforgettable festival experience.


The PSA helped us cut through the complacent attitude held by thousands of young NZ festival-goers, and delivered a message of safety in an unforgettable way.

Since the PSA first aired at festivals, there has been a 30% growth in QR codes scanned and a 195% increase in use of Bluetooth Covid-19 tracing.

Organic PR generated off the back of the PSA had 2,300,000 views, created 47,000,000 organic impressions, and was heralded on the New York Times, as well as the Guardian as an example of New Zealand’s world-leading Covid-19 communication response.

The NZ Government invested $40,000 NZD into the campaign, their ROI was 0.12c for every kiwi who danced, 0.02c for every view and 0.08c for every opportunity to see.

1 in 4 Kiwi millennials danced to an ad, from a government, encouraging young people to wash their hands.