Campaign SpotlightPress Release

TBWA\ New Zealand raises awareness on food waste by putting up billboards with mold for Love Food Hate Waste NZ

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND — Spoiler Alert: New Zealanders waste $3.2 billion of food every year, which is both terrible for the environment and for our pockets. 

So, in an effort to combat household food waste by 50% by 2030, Love Food Hate Waste NZ (LFHW) teamed up with TBWA\New Zealand to help bring much needed attention to this issue. To bring awareness to this, TBWA\NZ made its “for-good messages” go bad, creating massive billboards that grew mold over a series of weeks. 

TBWA\NZ worked with Landcare Biometrics and specially created three giant petri dishes filled with agar that would grow a type of mold that’s safe for the general public. That mold was of course from food – blue cheese, in fact – with petri dishes themselves measuring 1 meter in diameter. Then, outdoor ad specialists Bootleg got onboard to help create the unique living billboards.

New Zealand and Love Food Hate Waste NZ INS

The billboards went live mid April, gradually producing mould naturally over the course of six weeks. The stunt was in service of drawing attention to the massive food waste issue and a new initiative, reusable Eat Me First stickers. The reusable stickers were free and made available to the public from a quick scan of a QR codes on the OOH, LFHW’s website, regional councils or available to pick up for free in selected Woolworth’s stores across the country.

“We needed our message to be in your face,” said Sophie Wolland, Project Manager of LFHW. “Because food waste is such a major issue that we don’t often think about day to day. 

“The stark visual representation of wasted food aims to shock passersby into action, motivating and inspiring Kiwis to reduce their food waste, minimise their carbon footprint by cutting harmful emissions from food waste and save money,” added Sophie.

“It’s one of those issues where it’s tough to get people to take action, it needs some big attention grabbing stunts and a smart way to remind us all to eat our older food first, before it needs to be thrown out,” said Shane Brandnick, Chief Creative Officer at TBWA\NZ

“This campaign was super technical for the team to deliver but a really vivid reminder, that if we don’t eat it, we waste it – and that’s terrible for a family’s budget and really bad for our environment,” Shane explained.

LFHW also went big with several giant monuments of moldy food. A huge apple covered in mold by the waterfront in Wellington reminded Kiwis that “nobody likes a bad apple,” while a massive piece of moldy toast in the train station nearby inspired people to “break the mold.” 

The campaign culminated with the revived NZ Lamb & Beef’s 16-foot tall lamb chop in Te Komititanga Plaza at Britomart, of course, with a moldy twist. Now gone off, just like all their campaign billboards and posters, the lamb chop towered over the public covered in faux mold. Accompanying signage read “the meat of the matter” – which is surely fitting for the way this for-good organization approached solving this prevalent issue. 

To find our more:


Creative Agency: TBWA\New Zealand
Chief Creative Officer: Shane Bradnick
Creative Directors: Frank Garguilo and Jeff Tune
Art Director: Michael Gillard-Allen
Copywriter: Crystal Hay
Chief Executive Officer: Catherine Harris
Group Business Director: Adam Brami
Senior Business Director: Monique Seil
Producer: Mark Paisey  
Scientists: Bevan Weir and Diana Lee/Landcare Research
Big Spoiler Monuments: Carl Moody/Bootleg
Media: MBM
Marketing & Communications Manager: Juno Scott-Kelly
Project Manager: Sophie Wolland 
Digital Marketing Co-ordinator and Content Manager: Gel Lim

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