Having nearly completed a nationwide roll out of fibre optic cable in New Zealand Chorus needed a way to connect with people to realise it's benefits for the country. Working with Chameleon Partners, we developed a year long competition amongst New Zealand towns to compete for the prize of their town getting fired up with the fastest internet in the Southern hemisphere.

In 2014, 5 of NZ's top 10 hashtags were about Gigatown. The campaign exceeded all of its business objectives and generated over $32m in positive media exposure. The campaign won the supreme award and two others awards at the 2015 TVNZ Marketing Awards.

Gigatown Home screen of website

Realising the idea.

One of the strategies of Gigatown was to make Gigatown feel like a real place before it was established. This would help people to relate to it and gain an attachment before anything has happened. This thought was used in promoting Gigatown early on and throughout the advertising campaign.

Gigatown Beer

Creating an identity.

Inspiration for the logo came from the fonts used on New Zealand road signs. Something familiar and real. Designed to enable an easy association and to create a sense of reality to a fictional idea. As hashtags were the driving mechanism behind the competition and every scoring # was prefixed with gigatown this was incorporated into the logo. This also helped with the initial take up and clarification of what would be required to score points. The use of cogs and dials throughout gives an impression of the underlying technology powering the service and again adds to the sense of realism.

Computer showing Gigatown website page with logo
Gigatown Logo with construction lines

Natural beauty.

Deep routed in New Zealand culture is the volcanic nature of the island. As a result of all of the volcanic activity there is an abundance of volcanic rock. The colour palette for Gigatown has been inspired by the rocks found throughout the country. Colours New Zealanders know and have a strong relation to. These rocks also define the course the cables take through the earth.

Gigatown Logo with Cogs
Gigatown Logo with Cogs


To run a competition on Social media we needed a way to capture the conversations and create points to play the game. By using pre-determined #gigatown hashtags on the supported social media sites we were able to capture the data. Every piece of hash-tagged content earned Gigapoints, and so did subsequent shares, likes, re-tweets and comments. A website was designed to showcase the content, each user signed up and picked a town. The feed generated was specific to the users town but they were able to view leaderboards and other towns content through the site.

Gigatown Website Dashboard
Gigatown iMac detail


Running a competition based on hashtags, shares and likes was a start but to gain better engagement and content we ran various mini competitions. The reward was more points for your town often with another real world prise. Amongst others Nelson won a mural painted by renowned artist Askew, Dunedin won a one off 3D street art chalked up by Leon Keer. We also ran a competition open to all NZ schools to create a video based on what it would be like learning in a connected school of the future the winner being Whakatane. This gave us a chance to create some brilliant content as well as shaking up the leaderboard.

Gigatown Askew iPad
Gigatown Askew Painting
Gigatown Leon Keer Painting
Gigatown Schools promo poster
Gigatown Jeremy filming the van Gigatown Leon Keer Painting
Gigatown schools poster

Gigatown by numbers.

The winning town of the Gigatown competition was Duneedin. As well as successfully achieving the business goals set by Chorus we won two of New Zealands top marketing honors

  • 5.95 million tweets (2.1 million retweets)
  • 790,000 Facebook posts
  • 65,000 Instagram posts
  • 380 mainstream media mentions
  • 1 in 10 New Zealanders played Gigatown at some stage
  • Over 3 working weeks of video content was created
  • The average time spent on the site was over 7minutes
  • The total value of earned media totaled more than was spent on the entire campaign
  • The objective was to reach 7% uptake of fibre by the end of 2015. Uptake was just below 11% by Dec 2014
  • In 2014 5 of New Zealand top ten hashtags including most popular were about Gigatown
Gigatown Awards
Gigatown Masterton
Gigatown Duneedin Firetruck
Gigatown Wanaka
Gigatown van in NYC
Gigatown Wanaka