Keep Left, Southbank, Australia

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Name of Organization / Company: Keep Left, Southbank, Australia

Category: Award for Innovation in the Use of Events

Entry Title: Super Smashaday with ME


In October 2016, economist and The Australian columnist, Bernard Salt, accused Australian millennials of overspending on smashed avocado brunches instead of saving for a home.

Outraged hipsters went wild online causing an “Avogate” backlash against Mr Salt’s comments.

ME, an industry-super fund owned bank, was perfectly placed to capitalise on this opportunity. With an existing home loan advertising campaign in the market “have your smashed avocado and eat it too”, a thought leadership position on housing affordability and a new Life&Loan digital tool for consumers, ME swung into action to maximise on the escalating smashed avo debate with one key message for consumers: You can buy a home and keep your lifestyle too.

Working as ME’s communications agency, Keep Left conjured up a plan of attack to cut through the wave of public debate using online influencers, traditional media, Real Estate agents and even Bernard Salt himself.

The idea? To hijack the “Super Saturday” auction weekend that was approaching in just four days’ time – when everyone’s eyes would be on the property market – and turn it into a Super Smashaday.

To gain traction in the debate, ME’s social media team carefully targeted selected social influencers, including Buzzfeed’s Mark DiStefano, to raise awareness of ME and its smashed avocado campaign before the big day.

Knowing that state auction weekends are a focus for weekend news media, the traditional media strategy was to have a presence at auctions in first home buyer areas, allowing direct engagement with our target audience while creating strong visuals and a fun narrative for TV news media who were looking for the best footage. We knew print and online property reporters would also welcome an interesting narrative to report on alongside the weekend’s auction results.

With just 72 hours to pull this off, the Keep Left team organised a collaboration with prominent Melbourne based real estate agency, Harcourts, and engaged a catering company to serve smashed avo on toast to hundreds of auction-goers across various locations in Melbourne on October 22 2016.

Auctioneers were fully briefed to work ME’s key messages into their opening comments and create some theatre. ME branded promotional staff served free smashed avocado on toast with a shake of ‘Bernard Salt’ on their breakfast. Successful bidders were presented with smashed avocado hampers, complete with grainy bread, avocados, feta and lemon. The auctions were captured by a photographer and videographer to enable online amplification.
To leverage traditional media opportunities, the PR team packaged up a media release with research statistics on household affordability, a ME spokesperson was offered for interviews as well as the auctioneers on the day and a first homebuyer case study.

Business results:
• Between 15-27 October, ME achieved an increase of over 600% in visits to its Life&Loan landing page. The only factor that changed during that period was the Super Smashaday campaign
• Visitors spent 44% more time on the smashed avo landing page after October 15

Earned media results:
• The Australian, Pedestrian TV, Business Insider, Smart Company and B&T all covered the buzz around ME’s campaign in the lead up to the activation
• Channel 7 covered the auctions, including ME branding and spokesperson
• Print and online coverage of the Super Smashaday auctions was achieved in The Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, Daily Telegraph, and
• Over 7.4m sets of eyeballs reached for earned media
• An AVE of $110,412

Social and influencer results:
• The debate around smashed avocado and home ownership was used to reach 3.3 million people with targeted social content promoting ME and Life&Loan
• Surprised new ME home loan customers, and Bernard Salt, with avocados delivered to their door.

The campaign was executed in four days with a total budget of: $25,674.00

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