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The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji & Tonga Territory

Red Shield Appeal 2015 “Safety Net”


The Salvation Army has been an integral part of New Zealand’s social fabric for 131 years. 2014 brought home the depth and breadth of material deprivation and emotional strain endured by a large number of Kiwi families.


The challenge for the 2015 appeal was to build on the success of the 2014 campaign, and keep engaging the New Zealand public to donate to the Salvation Army.


The Result:

  • A powerful emotive television commercial

  • 120% of donation target

  • Most financially effective Red Shield Appeal to date


Key visuals from the commercial made powerful print, Direct Mail and posters.

Notably, each of the people falling are well-dressed and appear middle class, shifting the idea that not-for-profit organisations only serve to assist those in the most dire circumstances.

"There is a perception that the Salvation Army is all about food parcels," says Chisholm. "But we wanted to engage with the audience and show that I could very easily find myself in that space. It could be me."

Chisholm says that the Salvation Army, through its various initiatives, assisted 35,000 families and 68,000 dependent children under the age of 17 over the course of 2014.

And by targeting the middle class, the campaign also taps into the important source of donations that this group provides—something that has become particularly important since the Global Financial Crisis.

The Red Shield Appeal was a multi channel integrated campaign. The key visuals and theme from the television commercial make powerful Direct Mail packs, print ads, online creative and posters. This too flowed through to PR and Salvation Army communications.


The Story

We hear so often how the smallest things push those in poverty over the edge. A car repair bill, a rent increase, a loan that’s just got out hand.


Many of these people struggling with poverty are working – sometimes holding down two jobs to put food on the table.


It’s not their fault – it just circumstance.


By showing everyday New Zealanders falling over the edge into what appears to be some dark abyss may at first not seem remarkable.


But what makes it remarkable is the way we filmed it. By using super high speed cameras – their fall becomes poetic, engaging and all the more powerful.


By combining these images with a powerful soundtrack (Quanta Qualia by Hayley Westenra), the viewer is spellbound to watch. What is going to happen?


The revelation of a giant red safety net with the Salvation Army Shield on it rising out of the darkness and catching our fallen completes the story.


It’s simple, symbolic – and easily understood.

Our follow up commercial adds further depth and explains exactly how the Salvation Army is providing the safety net and how the viewer can help – by donating.

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