Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Big weekend in the City of Sails

It was a busy weekend for the panda family here in New Zealand. The campaign that I am currently running – Ocean:Views – launched on December 1st (first day of spring here!) and wraps up on World Oceans Day, June 8, 2011. As part of the promotion for this competition, we organized a stunt up in Auckland using a beautiful giant gilt picture frame. It was the same one that we used for the campaign launch in Wellington. It was Auckland Anniversary weekend and everyone was out along the waterfront, enjoying the time with family and friends. The giant frame was the focal point for the campaign and was intended to invite people to get creative and enter the competition by producing a creative work celebrating New Zealand’s oceans and New Zealanders’ unique connection to New Zealand’s seas.

The weekend started with a pile of meetings with various museums and galleries. By Friday evening, Pete had joined me at the hotel and we feasted the evening away at a yummy Italian eatery with some of my colleagues. The calm before the storm.
Team dinner
Cool painting in local bar
Saturday was spent cruising the town and soaking up the scenery. We chose to avoid the museums for the day and instead walked along the beautiful waterfront and checked out the incredible boats anchored in the marina.

Auckland's Big Little City

View of sky tower
Veggie building
Clock tower
One of the tall ships

The 'Spirit of New Zealand'
Waterfront sculpture
Auckland harbour

Massive cat for team Vodafone
Beautiful marina with sky tower in the background

Auckland ferry terminal with the WWF frame in the foreground
Wandering the streets of Auckland
There were tons of sailboats as the big regatta was coming up. In honour of the anniversary weekend, the town was hosting more festivals and concerts than I could count! There was the seafood festival, which we got to check out that evening and taste some delicious, sustainably caught fish. There was the buskers festival which featured about a dozen performers peppered all around the city centre (including one Canadian talent whom you could spot from about a mile away!).

Crazy Canuck busker!
Another incredible performer
The break dancers were the best and we caught one of their shows mid afternoon. It’s just amazing what they can make their bodies do!

Breaker #1 flips breaker #2
Breaker #2 spins on head for what seems like forever.
Breaker #1 bends/flips/tricks body in crazy ways.
There was Laneway – an annual concert in a downtown park, which featured one of the supporters of the Oceans campaign! – a well known kiwi artist called Ladyhawke. And then there was supposed to be the Jimi Buffet concert. How excited I was that he was coming into town only to find out that he had fallen off the stage in Australia the night before and knocked himself out! Luckily, his head is fine though I’m sure his ego took a bit of a bruising. As a result, the Auckland show was sadly canceled. No 'cheeseburgers in this paradise'!

When Sunday morning rolled around, we were all ready to spend the day greeting passersby, taking pics of people with the panda, and handing out flyers (printed on FSC certified paper, of course!) Tourists and kiwis alike flocked to the panda like moths to a flame and we were incredibly pleased with the amount of attention we were getting. At one point the city’s new mayor paid us a visit and had his picture taken with me in the frame. Yup - that’s me standing next to him in the big fluffy panda suit ;)

Not what you typically see 'crossing' the street. We definitely got lots of attention!
Ahoy boys!

Halfway through day 1 of promotion stunt and already sunburned
WWF frame with tall ship in the background
Auckland Anniversary air show!

One of these things is not like the other...

The WWF panda (yours truly) and the Auckland Mayor share their Ocean:View!
A well deserved celebratory bevvie post crazy long weekend!
I’m not entirely sure how clearly the competition message got through but I guess we’ll find out when we monitor the WWF website traffic over the next few weeks. Hopefully we’ll have tons of new entries coming in. Fingers crossed!

1 comment:

  1. That last picture there is where I got married! How fun!!!