FCB New Zealand and Water Safety NZ have won Social Good Campaign 2017 for Swim Reaper at the New Zealand Social Media Awards.

Sean Keaney, General Manager of FCB New Zealand’s Wellington office said, “This is a great example of client/agency collaboration and shows what can happen when you get the creative execution and channel bang on.”

CEO of Water Safety NZ, Jonty Mills said, “We’re thrilled with the success of our Swim Reaper campaign, particularly within the Social Good category. Our sole motivation was to make a real connection with young Kiwi men and have a positive impact on their decision making and behaviour around water. This campaign wouldn’t have been such a success without the support of ACC and the creative minds at FCB.”

The social media led campaign, which was made in partnership with ACC, targeted young males as they disproportionately make up more than one third of preventable drownings in New Zealand. As this cynical audience reacts badly to being told what to do, FCB decided to take up a darkly comedic standpoint, under the creative tagline “Swim dumb and you’re done.”

The campaign resulted in an impressive engagement rate of 81% but more importantly contributed to the zero fatalities during the campaign period. The Swim Reaper saved lives by ironically encouraging bad behaviour around water with his black humour.