More than 185,000 New Zealanders have updated their Facebook profiles with Kiwibank's 'I am hope' message in a hugely popular social media campaign.

And the bank has now responded by doubling the amount it's donating to Mike King's charity.

At launch, the bank pledged to donate a dollar to the Gumboot Up NZ fund for every Kiwi who added the frame to the profiles.

Gumboot Friday, set to occur on April 5, has been created by King to help raise funds for his I Am Hope charity, which is committed to giving young Kiwis access to free counselling services.


The bank initially sent a donation limit of $20,000, but early interest saw this increased to $50,000. This new goal has also been quickly surpassed, with 185,000 Kiwis getting onboard by noon today. And the bank has now pledged to donate $100,000 to the cause.

Add the frame to support #gumbootupnz

Hey NZ, when we kicked off this profile frame we had an ambitious goal of 20K shares and we’ve been BLOWN AWAY by your support. So... the new challenge is 50,000 FRAMES FOR $50,000... Keep sharing! Click here to try the frame:

Posted by Kiwibank on Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Asked earlier today whether Kiwibank, which reported a half-year profit of $62 million earlier this week, would increase its donation to match the number of Kiwis who have used the frame, a spokesperson indicated that the donation would remain at $50,000.

However, after publication of this article, Kiwibank confirmed that it would be doubling the amount donated.

The spokesperson also said Kiwibank was also supporting the charity in other ways, such as donating media to the campaign, providing collection points, staff resources, and banking facilities. She also said Kiwis keen to support the cause could do so via the King's 'Key to Life' charity set up on Givealittle.

For every Kiwi who adds this frame to their profile photo we'll donate $1 to Mike King's #gumbootupnz fund. The fund will offer young Kiwi's free counselling. So what are you waiting for NZ? Get behind it!

Posted by Kiwibank on Sunday, 17 February 2019

The spokesperson went on to say this the bank's first online campaign to go viral.

"It's been far more popular than anything else we've done," the spokeswoman said.

"This is really great for Mike King and his charity."

It's also been great campaign for Kiwibank from a branding perspective. The reach through the 185,000 Kiwis as well as all the widespread media coverage would have given the bank massive bang for its marketing buck.


This simple social media campaign wouldn't have been expensive to develop and the distribution has been given a major bump through Kiwis sharing the initiative.

"From only three posts there has been an organic reach of over 2 million," the spokesperson said.

Add to this the positive associations of Kiwibank supporting an important cause and you have a campaign that ticks all the boxes for good marketing - something particularly important for a bank that doesn't have the massive budgets of its Aussie-owned competitors.

Note: Elements of this story were updated after publication to reflect that Kiwibank would be doubling the amount donated.