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Best Collaboration

Movember Foundation

With suicide amongst our men a national tragedy, The Movember Foundation and New Zealand Rugby, with the help of BC&F Dentsu set out to disrupt the moment of silence tradition within sport.


The Challenge 

It’s common practice to observe a moment of silence within sporting fixtures. But when it comes to men’s mental health, silence is the last thing we need. To get Kiwi men talking to their mates, BC&F Dentsu saw the opportunity to collaborate with New Zealand Rugby and reframe a moment of silence to a moment AGAINST silence. The collaboration meant BC&F Dentsu gained access to the nation’s most influential men and the epitome of New Zealand masculine culture: the All Blacks. It was decided that on September 7 2019, before the All Blacks game against Tonga, fans would be asked to break tradition and talk openly with those around them. 

The Response

BC&F Dentsu weren’t just getting New Zealand Rugby to buy into the idea; they had to convince Steve Hansen and the team that this would be a meaningful disruption to their pre-game ritual. They created a concept video to show how big the problem was, and the power the players had to make a meaningful shift in the attitudes of men. 

Given the topic’s sensitivity, BC&F Dentsu closely consulted with The New Zealand Mental Health Foundation (MHF) to ensure all messaging was adherent to public health policies. Every piece of campaign collateral, from social videos to in-game signage and match programmes, had to go through MHF for approval. BC&F Dentsu also consulted with SKY to ensure the moment wouldn’t fall within the middle of an ad break. 

Upon careful consideration, SKY shifted their entire ad break. Five days out from the game, BC&F Dentsu released a video on the All Blacks’ social channels outlining suicide statistics. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Grant Nisbett, the voice of New Zealand rugby, announced that we would observe a moment against silence. John Kirwan and Keven Mealamu were interviewed across broadcast, print and online media throughout the week. Current All Blacks Liam Squire and Anton Leinert-Brown shared the video and opened up about their own mental health struggles. Just before kick-off, the nation was stopped. The crowd and those at home were asked to make as much noise as possible. 

Within hours, BC&F Dentsu packaged up the moment for the All Blacks’ social media and distributed the content to mainstream media. 

The Result 

The pre-promotion video gained immediate publicity and earned reach across social media and within news coverage. 542,3753 Kiwis watched the video shared on the All Blacks’ Facebook and Instagram channels, with engagement of more than 95,000. 25,800 people at Hamilton’s FMG Stadium observed a moment against silence. Two minutes of broadcast coverage on SKY got an additional 279,000 people participating at home. Coverage was picked up by SKY, One News and Newshub, appearing as the second story at 6pm. 

The idea has since been replicated around the world, with England, Ireland and Australia following suit.

Entry details

Category: Best Collaboration
Company: The Movember Foundation and New Zealand Rugby
Marketing Initiative: A Moment Against Silence
Marketing Partners: BC&F Dentsu
Judge’s Comments: “A formidable collaboration that demonstrated the team’s ability to align a complex group of stakeholders to support an unexpected take on the challenge. We were impressed that the team’s ability gain the support of key brands such as SKY and The All Blacks.”
Finalists: Meridian Energy & Garage Project; New Zealand Police, Wrestler Studios & Wellington Paranormal Citizen’s Brigade; The Warehouse, OMD, TVNZ & Duffy Books, J. H. Whittaker & Sons and Tip Top Ice Cream Company


This article was originally published in the December/January 2020 issue of NZ Marketing. You can subscribe to the magazine, here. Or read the other winner stories, here.

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