Cannes Lions

Unforgotten Soldiers

DDB GROUP NEW ZEALAND, Auckland / SKY TV / 2016

Case Film
Presentation Image
Demo Film

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Description

We realised that as time passes and with no surviving veterans, WWI is becoming a distant memory. Now days our only connection to the past and memories of the soldiers are kept in old black and white photographs, so to reconnect NZ with our history we decided to create a Tableau Vivant which brought a black and white WWI photo to life on the streets of Auckland. It was essential to partner with people who could deliver an excellent level of design, costume detail, performance direction, including a full surround sound soundtrack that was completely authentic to WW1.

Execution

The Unforgotten Soldiers was a dramatic 8-hour live performance in the middle of a busy Auckland street. It brought the memories of our WW1 soldiers flooding back. It was a compelling and emotional experience that featured a historically accurate surround soundtrack of real warfare, soldiers' experiences and included narratives of real letters written in the trenches. The installation showed all aspects of a typical day from dawn routines of ‘Stand to Arms’, fighting, duties, meals and boredom, right through to the soldiers singing before lights out. Everything in the trench had to be designed and made in monochrome to create the effect of looking at a black-and-white picture.

Outcome

We reconnected young and old with the past by bringing them face to face with history. News of the Unforgotten Soldiers spread on social media locally and globally. It was the most viewed story on NZ Herald online, made One News, and was shared by the BBC. It was talked about on national radio stations and audiences shared and kept the conversation going. We reached an estimated audience of over 22,835,710 people. That’s over 5 times the entire population of NZ. The value to the History Channel brand was not about generating revenue or subscriptions but raising awareness and helping young and old remember one of NZ's most historic events. It was a social awareness campaign that demonstrated the values of the History Channel of documenting, educating and preserving the past. We also raised triple the usual donations, for the RSA's annual appeal in just one day.

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