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ANZ & ANZAC Poppy Day

From Street Appeal to Tweet Appeal

The Brief

For close to a century Kiwis have commemorated those who served us in times of war by wearing distinctive red ANZAC poppies in exchange for donations. But a younger generation with no real exposure to wartime has become disengaged with this historic appeal and also seem less likely to have cash when donations are requested.

ANZAC has obvious importance to the ANZ Bank, who accept donations in all of their branches. ANZ promise “We live in your world” focussing on innovative ways to make banking better in everyday life. Their brief was to create an innovative way to drive awareness, participation and donations for the ANZAC commemoration, in particular with a younger audience.


People donate and wear poppies as mark of respect and their contribution, influencing others contribute to. For a younger audience, social networks provided another social context for this scenario to play out. Instead of cash we also noted their comfort with mobile transactions thanks to the app economy. So for the 90th anniversary of the poppy, we proposed a something new. Just as ANZ sold poppies in-branch, why not sell virtual ones online? At users simply SMS’d their twitter names, making an instant donation donation and receiving a virtual poppy on their twitter avatar.


Launched at the same time as the street appeal and relying purely on word-of-mouth became a focal point for commemorations. The virtual poppy was featured on primetime TV, radio and of course, online the story was everywhere. #poppyday become a trending topic as kiwis, local celebrities, politicians and businesses rushed to don their poppies, pushing the ANZAC message out to well over 310,000 followers.

This drove donations for virtual poppies to almost ten times the average takings from street locations. But the best result was having some of the largest ANZAC turnouts with young Kiwis in modern history, proving that a younger audience still has potential to relate and support a historic cause.

Just as people can donate on the street and wear a badge showing their support for Poppy Day they can now donate with a text then wear their badge on social media.

Twitter profile images often represent someone’s personality and adding a poppy to it demonstrates their personal support for Poppy Day.

James PerrinANZ Head of Digital Marketing