#buythisbeachnz: How the Power of Stuff transformed Engagement in a Local Campaign

The #buythisbeachnz campaign united Kiwis behind a single cause: keeping a beach in the Awaroa inlet by Abel Tasman National Park in public ownership. Kiwis rallied behind the cause, donating more than $2 million to buy the land. 

The Challenge

Two ordinary Kiwis, Daune Major and Adam Gard’ner, launched a campaign to buy a privately-owned beach in the secluded Awaroa Inlet in the Marlborough Sounds and transfer it to public ownership. 

The campaign was about ordinary Kiwis doing an extraordinary thing and we saw how that connected to the Stuff/Fairfax Media values of bringing together our communities to thrive and to enable socially conscience Kiwis to  connect over issues that are important to them.  We were able to put our money where our mouth is, showing people that we are for them and care about the same issues they do. 

When we saw the clock was ticking on the campaign, we stepped in to help New Zealanders raise the remaining $1.1m.    

Our Idea 

Our idea was to rally Kiwis to band behind the campaign and give a voice and opportunity to the  people that wanted to return the beach to public ownership. To do this, we would create a multimedia, cross platform campaign anchored on Stuff. 

What we did 

We created a multimedia campaign that centered around a strong call to action on social media with the hashtag #BuyThisBeachNZ, which acted as a rallying cry for our audience. 

Campaigners Duane Major (left) Adam Gard'ner (right)

Campaigners Duane Major (left) Adam Gard'ner (right)

The campaign was launched by an open letter from Patrick Crewdson, Editor of Stuff: 

“Stuff is getting behind the project to preserve this slice of paradise for the public - and we’re asking you to join us.” 

What followed was storm of diverse content, over a nine day period, that engaged hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders. 

Donations closed: Displayed on editorial supporting the campaign. 

Donations closed: Displayed on editorial supporting the campaign. 

30 pieces of editorial content, each one a call to action that put the campaign front and centre and embedded the Givealittle fundraising page into the article, presenting endless opportunity for people to contribute. 

Content types included: an opinion piece from one of the campaign organisers, Daune Major, talking about the spirit of the campaign; contributions from the Stuff Nation community; Major video pieces including interviews with the organisers, politicians and public scoping out the project 

Once the campaign target was reached we launched a secondary campaign that thanked all those that had contributed to the cause. 

It included: 

  • 21 video pieces created
  • 30 editorial articles created housed within stuff.co.nz/travel/news/buy-this-beach
  • Facebook Live stream of campaign founder Duane Major thanking Stuff supporters had 22,000 views
Success! Editorial celebrating reaching the fundraising goal. 

Success! Editorial celebrating reaching the fundraising goal. 

The Insight

Community is a driving force for Stuff and our audience has rallied behind international and community causes where we’ve made a tangible difference to people’s lives. This, combined with our deep connection to New Zealand’s communities, meant we knew how to talk to our audience and how they feel about social and political issues. 

Looking deeper: Editorial examining the issue of coastal ownership in NZ

Looking deeper: Editorial examining the issue of coastal ownership in NZ

The Results 

Donations: Donations increasing after Stuff came on board. 

Donations: Donations increasing after Stuff came on board. 

  • Before our campaign started, donations lulled at $870,000. 
  • Within a week of starting our campaign, the $2 million target was achieved. 
  • 21 video pieces created - 150,000 views across our platforms
  • 30 editorial articles created housed within stuff.co.nz/travel/news/buy-this-beach
  • Facebook Live stream of campaign founder Duane Major thanking Stuff supporters had 22,000 views