Campaign Spotlight: The Department of Lost Nights

By Claudia Crasborn (Senior Digital Account Manager) and Andrew Coulthard (Account Director – Media)

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Earlier this year, the Health Promotion Agency set us to task to develop the next culture-changing marketing campaign in their Say Yeah, Nah series. The objective: to re-energise and reinvigorate the brand’s message around alcohol moderation, encouraging social acceptance for 18-24 year olds to ease up on the drinking, and ultimately keep the good times going for longer!

From this brief, The Department of Lost Nights was born: a non-government organisation that identifies young adults who have consumed too much alcohol and confiscates their memories as a result!

The media delivery of this campaign was separated into three key phases. The first was mass reach, using TV and online video to ensure our audience understood the creative concept. Google’s Video Ad Sequencing beta played a key role in this phase, enabling us to ensure maximum views of the long-form TVC on YouTube: those who skipped their first opportunity to view the ad were subsequently served a shorter teaser trailer, followed by a bumper ad if the teaser also didn’t capture their attention. Users who completed viewing the teaser and bumper were then prompted with another opportunity to view the long-form content.

Once our audience had become familiar with the Department, we moved into maintenance layer, focusing on differing moments of consideration in our audience’s weekly drinking cycle. We identified the most effective channels to serve relevant creative messaging during three key moments: the build-up to the weekend, the moment of consumption, and the morning after.

From a digital media perspective, we identified the morning after as the most interesting time to deliver a poignant message from the Department of Lost Nights. We partnered with Big Mobile to access their audience location platform, Near, which by cross-referencing GPS, Wi-Fi and telco signals, was able to provide us with some of the most accurate and scalable mobile location targeting available in New Zealand. Using this data, we mapped all of the key nightlife locations around New Zealand, creating audiences of individuals who had been out the night before. These audiences refresh every afternoon, ensuring our morning-after messaging only finds people who were out the previous night.

But why stop there? Rather than just reaching people who were out the night before, we took this a step further, hitting audiences with a personalised message that referenced where they had been that night. Utilising the audiences created by Near and FCB’s BOB creative suite, we were able to dynamically change the message for people who had been partying in Ponsonby, at Britomart, at the Octy in Dunedin, and even those who had visited small local bars like Mama Hooch in Christchurch.

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Finally, we included a high-impact layer that focused on reaching our audience at a moment when we knew alcohol consumption would be at its highest: we partnered with Snapchat and sponsored the Auckland City Limits live story. Four creative executions were developed to serve seamlessly throughout the story. As users witnessed the antics posted by those attending the event, similar scenes would appear and quickly be concealed by a Department of Lost Nights sticker, followed by the campaign slogan: “Stay in your head, stay in the night.”

We’re excited to see the results of the Department’s efforts to remind New Zealanders to Say Yeah, Nah and ease up on the drink.

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