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Aged Care Association
The Domino Effect

With successive decades of underfunding, aged care in New Zealand (NZ) is in crisis. The government funding model falls well short of the sustainable funding model required and with a rapidly ageing population, the situation will soon reach ‘tipping point”.


Since 2021, Anthem had been working with the Aged Care Association (ACA) and a movement of members from within the group, called Aged Care Matters, to urgently raise awareness of the issues plaguing the sector while driving politicians to acknowledge, accept and intervene.


The 2023 NZ General Election presented a crucial opportunity to secure sustainable funding for the sector. As a result, Anthem developed and managed an integrated communications campaign called ‘The Domino Effect’.


Working with advertising agency Chemistry, we developed imagery showing aged care beds crashing down like dominos on everyday Kiwis, to highlight the impact that chronic underfunding of the aged residential care sector has on all New Zealanders. The ads were featured on billboards and posters in key Wellington locations frequented by politicians including the Wellington Domestic Airport and near Parliament Building.


Anthem then leveraged the campaign to secure media coverage including an exclusive interview on top tier breakfast broadcast show AM.  In total, we secured 31 media stories with an additional 15 pieces of secondary coverage, which showed an ongoing interest and visibility of the issues plaguing the sector.


In our first week of the campaign our PR reach was over 2.1 million impressions and the total reach for the campaign exceeded 3.7 million. Our advertising also reached 14 million+ New Zealanders over a two-month period.


Alongside the positive communications results, the campaign successfully generated buzz and discussion within the Beehive. Following the campaign, political party NZ First announced it had included funding for aged care in its policy announcement.


In late 2023, the new NZ coalition government was confirmed, involving NZ First, National and ACT. The coalition confirmed the following for aged care: ‘the superannuation age will be kept at 65, the Retirement Villages Act will be reviewed, residential care funding will be investigated, a select committee inquiry into aged care provision and upgrading the Super Gold Card’.


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