Students take region to the world

MEGAN MILLER
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2012
tell a friend
NATASHA MARTIN/ Fairfax NZ
SPREAD THE WORD: Aoraki Polytechnic graphic design students Amos Knight, left, tutor Wayne Doyle and fellow student Ronan Causapin join in the Tell a Friend competition.

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In the wide world outside South Canterbury, there are lots of people who would rather be right here.

That's what a group of Aoraki Polytechnic students discovered after launching the project they will be entering in the Tell a Friend competition, an event organised by Aoraki Development Business and Tourism.

A class of about 18 arts and media diploma students worked together to come up with the campaign, with the slogan "I'd rather be in South Canterbury".

They took photos and created posters with variations on the slogan, then uploaded them to a Facebook page at facebook.com/IdRatherBeInSouthCanterbury, along with simple instructions: print a poster, take a photo showing the location where you're holding the poster, and share it with the world. The project went live on November 20 and by yesterday the page had 143 "likes".

"Our campaign was either going to succeed or fall flat because it required someone at the other end to do something for you," tutor and project adviser Wayne Doyle said. "Within 48 hours we had more than 100 ‘likes'."

Submissions have come from people all over the world, including many parts of Australia, Europe and the United States. Spots featured include Perth, Times Square in New York and an aircraft cruising at 36,000 feet somewhere over the Pacific.

Many of the participants seem to be Kiwis with South Canterbury connections who are excited at the opportunity to promote their home throughout the world.

Graphic design student Amos Knight said the campaign was good practice for future projects with paying clients. It would allow students to see which concepts worked and which did not.

They were surprised when Facebook users took the concept and ran with it, with some people even uploading short videos incorporating the posters.

The Facebook page will continue to exist past the end of the contest, creating a longterm marketing theme for the region, Mr Doyle said.

"This campaign . . . doesn't have an expiry date," he said. "It's only going to get bigger and better as time goes on."

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- The Timaru Herald

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