Rotorua Economic Development

Vax Vegas rangatahi led campaign

Empowering rangatahi as the leaders of apōpō to guide and educate whānau & Te Hāpori o Te Arawa about the importance of vaccinations.

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Te Tāhuhu

Rotorua Economic Development

Marisa Balle and Haydn Marriner (RED)

Health, Media

Design, Strategy

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Te Wero

Rotorua was in crisis mode due to having the highest deprivation rates in Aotearoa. This area has the lowest vaccination rate and lowest housing rates. The ripple effect of COVID could have been devastating.

The Rotorua Economic Development (RED) needed to come up with a rangatahi focused campaign for 12-40 year olds and those considered ‘hard to reach’ in order to increase the vaccination rate and help rangatahi understand why covid vaccinations are important for Māori communities especially.

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He Whakatika

A communication strategy and visual branding kit that could be utilised across multiple mediums.

We engaged local rangatahi influencers and content creators to lead out our social media strategy and gave them the creative licence to create content that would resonate and induce a sense of fun and excitement.. 

Together we defined these attributes:

  • Fun and youthful - Gone are the yellow stripes. We’re about fun, humour and colour. We’re loud and use local language that’s relevant and easy to connect with.
  • Positive, with high energy - We’re beyond the doom and gloom of the COVID story. We’re positive, full of energy and high impact.
  • Inclusive with FOMO - We look Māori and we’re for everyone. We’re something everyone wants to be part of – we’re the tshirt people want.
  • People centric - We’re here to help people get across the line, rather than fighting for COVID vaccination.
  • Te Arawa for Māori - We’re communicating with Māori, through their whakapapa, rather than through their iwitanga.
  • Locally proud - We’re connected to the Rotorua people and community. We understand them and their world.
  • Flexible - We fit the people, the context, the place, the need. We’ll try things until it works.
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Ngā hua o te kaupapa

How amazing are rangatahi Māori? They brought the energy and refreshing ideas that flipped the dial for the better further validating the importance of diverse backgrounds and experiences on projects.

We created a campaign that is positive, inclusive and energetic. We wanted to start conversations that resonated with activating rangatahi rather than loading them with constant signs of blame. 

Success was swift – within three days they had over 1000 follows on their Instagram page and the hashtag #vax vegas gathered 262.4k views within the first 5 days. The local DHB has had to surge resources at Vax Vegas supported events.

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Te Whaihanga

This campaign is a ‘by Te Arawa for Māori’ approach – communicating with Māori, through their whakapapa (rather than through Te Arawa tanga).

The initial campaign run was 6 weeks - 31 December – so there was a sense of urgency to deliver a campaign relatable for rangatahi.

RED have come up with the campaign name ‘VaxVegas’. They knew it would resonate with all rangatahi Māori who live there, acknowledging that not all rangatahi who live in Rotorua whakapapa to Te Arawa waka.

As Indigenous Creatives our vision for this kaupapa was to: 

  • Help lift vaccination rates in the Lakes DHB region
  • Capture and activate whānau - encouraging them to get vaccinated.
  • Energise and unite our whānau / community around a positive call to action.