Faaez Samadi
Oct 16, 2018

How Spark helped New Zealand learn Māori by taking photos

CASE STUDY: Partnering with Colenso BBDO and Google, the telco’s innovative mobile app played a big part in spreading the language and building brand equity.

Background and aim

Whilst te reo Māori has steadily seen an increase in a number of revitalisation efforts across New Zealand—especially in recent years—actual te reo learning opportunities remain limited and sometimes inaccessible.

So, for Te Wiki o te reo Māori (Māori Language Week) 2018, which ran from September 10 through 16­, Spark wanted to do something truly useful to help. Being both a Kiwi company and a technology leader in Kiwi communities, Spark found itself in a unique position to do something great for all Kiwis by supporting the revitalisation efforts using its tech credentials.

Execution

To deliver a cutting-edge learning experience, Spark partnered with Te Aka Māori Dictionary and Google to launch Kupu: an app designed to support the revitalisation of te reo Māori by packaging bite-sized language learning into an interactive and fun mobile experience.

Spark’s proposition was simple: take a photo, learn a language. The goal was equally as simple: encourage Kiwis to download Kupu and explore the world around them with it.

Using Google Cloud Vision and Google Translate APIs, supported by Te Aka Māori Dictionary data, Kupu lets users see the te reo Māori translations for pictures they take on their phone. It serves up the most likely translation, then other options for what it detects in the image. It also lets the user input words, meaning the app is constantly learning and iterating.

Results

By the end of the first 24 hours of being available, Kupu generated 35,051 downloads, exceeding targets by 119%. After two weeks of in-market advertising, the app had an installed base of 115,817, again far exceeding benchmarks.

Interaction rate was an astonishing 4,372%, with more than 2 million translations and 2.5 million audio plays. This means the average user took 15 photos to translate objects and played 29 audio clips (word pronunciations). Said another way, the average user interacted with the core functionalities of the app 44 times (44:1).

Users of the app shared image translations they’d taken 3,260 times–30% over target.

In addition, extensive coverage from media outlets (such as TVNZ One News, Radio NZ and Newstalk ZB), personalities (such as Jono & Ben, Stacey Morrison) and politicians (such as Kelvin Davis) amplified Spark’s earned-media reach significantly, reaching an estimated 6.4 million people (source: media agency partner), exceeding target by 327%.

“Bite-sized language learning that fits our daily habits is the benefit,” said Mike Davison, creative director at ColensoBBDO. “But the long-term collaboration with the best technology, Māori language and digital platform experts our country has; that’s what has made this project humbling and memorable.”

CREDITS

Client: Spark
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Partners: Te Aka Māori Dictionary Research Team of Te Ipukarea of National Māori Language & Google
Development: Rush Digital
Sound: Franklin Rd

Related Articles

Just Published

2 hours ago

Gojek and Tokopedia merge to form GoTo Group

The deal will be Indonesia's largest ever merger.

5 hours ago

How Giant gives the people what they want: $16 ...

Dairy Farm’s Southeast Asia marketing chief on the radical idea of permanently lowering prices and going against hype- and promotions-driven marketing.

5 hours ago

Can Japan recognise strength in diversity?

Japan’s concept of what it means to be Japanese remains overly narrow. But some signs point to more inclusion and acceptance of diversity in background, mindset, struggles and choices, writes the co-CEO of Yuzu Kyodai.

6 hours ago

Cathay Pacific tries to give vaccination rates a ...

The airline encourages staff and Hong Kong people to get their jabs so they can get flying again.