Rubbish Film Festival
project name

Rubbish Film Festival

A unique event in the history of the internet.

  • Client:

    New Zealand Telecom

  • My Role:


In 2005 The Rubbish Film Festival was a unique event in the history of the internet. Predating YouTube it was the very first online mobile film festival where users shot a short 20sec film with their mobile phones and upload them directly to the site.

In a tough consumer market like New Zealand, positioning is everything. The target audience was fairly broad; T3G needed ambassadors, a group of people who could champion the service through example and demonstration. Although the features were obvious – video messaging, editing, galleries etc – the benefits would need to be highlighted if the campaign was to resonate with potential customers. While the service has immediate practical benefits it is also very entertaining for the consumer. Hence the strategy was designed to generate a buzz amongst early adopters who would in turn stimulate the interest of the wider audience. The way in was to inspire people to use and fall in love with technology. The results surpassed all expectations and within 3 days of launch, the Rubbish Film Festival website was ranked within the top 5 most visited New Zealand websites – over 410,000 user visits!

Initial entries were simple and yet very entertaining. The common style leaned towards slapstick. Users quickly developed their techniques and it wasn’t long before users developed movies that rivaled those that were professionally made.

There were over 1000 entries to the competition driven from a massive 1,850,000 user visits to the site over the campaign period. Session times increased throughout the campaign with users spending more and more time perusing the galleries and voting for their favourite clips – over 3 minutes on average. The average frequency of weekly visits exceeded 5.5, with many users coming back almost everyday. The success of the campaign can be attributed to the users themselves who were only too keen to share their clips with their friends and engage as many other users as possible – demonstrating the overwhelming the power of communities online.

2006 Cannes Gold Lion Promo
2006 Cannes Gold Lion Media