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DDB NZ & Westpac Launch World's First Donation-powered Christmas Tree

DDB Group Asia Pacific, 2 years, 10 months ago

'Giving Tree' turns donations into a magical light show

DDB NZ & Westpac Launch World's First Donation-powered Christmas Tree

Inspired by the season’s spirit of gifting, Westpac has unveiled the Westpac Giving Tree in Takutai Square, Britomart; the first Christmas tree installation to be powered by public donations.

The unique display has already dazzled thousands of Aucklanders, and will run until 21st December. It combines motion, sound and light whenever a contactless payment card is used to make a donation, with proceeds helping the For Everyone Foundation fund community-based projects throughout New Zealand in 2015.

An eight-metre high tree festooned with lights is surrounded by six four-metre high trees. Each time someone makes a donation, the trees start to move, change colour and create sounds - making the donor a hero in the square.

The soundscape, co-composed by The Phoenix Foundation’s Conrad Wedde, changes throughout the day on a 24-hour loop, allowing for a fully immersed walk-through experience.

The concept for the unique installation was created by DDB and designed by Rawstorne studio, and took 500 hours to construct, using 400m of cabling. The large 900kg tree and six 300kg trees have each been fixed with six-faceted mirror panels, flown in from Switzerland. The mirrored panels will reflect 150 coloured lights across the square.

Sue Foley, Director Corporate Affairs, Westpac New Zealand Limited, says, “We are excited to see a little bit of magic brought to life this Christmas. More than just a tree, this is an enchanting, heart-warming experience that the whole family can enjoy and we are thrilled to be a part of it.

“It truly is a kaleidoscopic experience that brings the spirit of Christmas to life in a wonderful way,” adds Sue.

Shane Bradnick, Executive Creative Director, DDB, says, “We’ve helped Westpac bring Christmas to life this year with a spectacular, interactive display that uses new technology to lighten up the community and inspire Kiwis to help others. Best of all, my most important critics, my kids, love it so I get extra dad points!”

Richie McCaw, Westpac Ambassador and co-founder of the For Everyone Charitable Foundation, was the first to make a donation last Friday when the installation was revealed, presenting the Foundation’s 100th grant to Assistance Dogs New Zealand Trust. 

People can experience the Westpac Giving Tree, free, and for those who can’t make it in person, donations can be made via where a 24hour webcam inside one of the revolving trees takes donors for a spin. 

The For Everyone Charitable Foundation was founded by Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Ali Williams. Westpac New Zealand Limited is the charitable foundation’s major grants partner and together they’ve helped over 100 community groups get things done in their neighbourhood since 2009.

The Giving Tree experience can be shared on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #GivingTreeNZ.

Full Credits


Chief Creative Officer: Damon Stapleton

Executive Creative Director: Shane Bradnick

Digital Creative Director: Haydn Kerr

Copywriter: Matt Webster

Art Director: Ben Barnes

Producer: Julz Lane

Digital Operations Manager: Liz Knox

Lead Designer: Jason Vertongen

Lead Developer: Cameron Crosby  

Designer: Sam Schrey, David Woon, Jim Pachal 

Front end Developer: Braden Wikohika, Mike McMillan

Back end Developer: Steve Hoeksema

Digital Producer: Sheetal Pradhan

Studio: Amanda Summersby, Gordon Moir, Matt van der Loos 

Executive Producer: Judy Thompson

Maker Producer: Kate Moses

DOPs: Gavin Stroud, Scott Lee, Brendon Dixon

Editor: Guy Tichborne

Sound Design: David Liversidge at Radiate Sound

Planning Director: Rupert Price

Digital Planner: Parker Mason

Group Business Director: Rachel Turner

Account Director: Paula Brown

Senior Account Manager: Deepika Gounder

Account Executive: Kate Coopersmith

Network support: Hunt Moorhouse 


Media planning: John Farrell at Starcom

Mango Communications

Managing Director: Claudia Macdonald 

Group Account Director: Sean Brown 

Account Director Events: Katie Charlton

Account Manager: Emily King 

Account Manager Events: Ashleigh McKop


Rawstorne Studio

Design Director: Robin Rawstorne

Creative producer: Sarah Johnson 

Designer: Lloyd Thomas

Interactive developer/ composer: Puck Murphy 

Composer: Conrad Webb

Mechanical & Electrical engineers: James & Chris at Customised Project Solutions 

Category: Banking , Finance/insurance

Genre: Experiential