Colenso delivers Surf Lifesaving NZ a winning campaign – Adshel Challenge

The recent Adshel Creative Challenge has successfully challenged a group of talented and emerging creative to produce a cutting edge Adshel campaign for Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

Adshel, in partnership with Stoppress and DPOD are pleased to dedicate this year’s Creative Challenge  to supporting  Surf Life Saving New Zealand. Specifically the brief delivered was to produce a winter campaign to raise awareness that over 4,000 lifeguards train all year round with the key proposition of “while we are pining for summer, lifeguards are training for it” underpinning the evening. The judges were looking for a campaign to raise awareness during a time when the beach is not forefront of people’s minds.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Surf Life Saving NZ and we’re delighted that Adshel have chosen to partner with us.” said Paul Dalton, Chief Executive, Surf Life Saving New Zealand

Over 75 Creatives in 16 teams gathered at Hopetoun Alpha prepared to work hard and think outside of the box to deliver a winning concept within an hour. Each team was able to submit a maximum of two concepts and the standard delivered made the judging process a difficult one for the judging panel, made up of Mike Hutcheson, Ben Fahy of Stoppress, Mike Keech and Emily Marden of SLSNZ and Nick Vile of Adshel.

“The Adshel Creative Challenge is a fantastic way for us to support a very deserving charity such as Surf Life Saving NZ. It is also a great event to promote best in class creative principles for effective use of our format.. This year we had 16 teams competing to design a new campaign for SLSNZ. Given the strict time limit it was a pressure filled environment with some serious focus being applied. We are extremely proud of the event and impressed with the standard of the concepts produced, it is heartening to see the passion for producing good work coming through in the next generation” said Nick Vile, General Manager, Adshel

When the countdown started the teams wasted no time getting into a creative space to help come up with the best campaign they could in the allotted time. Spurred on by pizza, beer and fine wine the minds were racing, sharpies were drawing and the ideas were flowing. A very special acoustic performance from kiwi songstress and SLSNZ ambassador Jamie McDell added further ambience for the contestants.

After one hour each team submitted their concepts – some looking a little stressed – and the judging process began. Behind closed doors there was a lot of debate and scrutinizing of the concepts to make sure they fulfilled the criteria.

Did they raise the profile of SLSNZ during the winter months?

Did they include the mandatories?

Did it evoke the key proposition?

Did it captivate the viewer?

Paul Dalton continued “We were incredibly impressed by the calibre of talent on the night  – they are a testament to the creativity available in advertising both now and into the future, and we look forward to seeing the winning entry executed with the support of Adshel and its partners

With a winner, and some highly commended selected the judges were able to present the trophy, champagne and lunch at Waiheke Island, via helicopter to the winning team of Ben Polkinghorne, Scott Kelly and Salah Ben-Brahim of Colenso BBDO. Their approach was to create a series of executions to run across the campaign that intrigued the reader and required them to think a little.

Head Judge, Mike Hutcheson said “The winning entry avoided the obvious, created a question and (with the series of three approach) provided the answer, yet still rewarded the reader with the satisfaction of being able to solve the riddle.  There’s nothing like treating the reader with respect and not just regurgitating the brief with an obvious answer.”

The winning creative, along with all the entries will be available for viewing at, and of course you will see the winning creative up on Adshel next winter.