Before I get into a bit of rant this week about Telecom’s abysmal XT ad campaign, I just wanted to farewell a long-time and trustworthy friend. It’s not often you have someone around that loyally helps out week after week, for almost two years and then just quietly disappear, never to be seen again. Someone like that really becomes part of the family and I was really surprised just how hard it was to let go, knowing we’d never see each other again.

It all started just after our renovations were done and we moved in with our new dishwasher. Crystal being the astute shopper she is, scored a nice DeLonghi dishwasher that included a year’s free dishwashing powder. Great. But as the year approached I felt a welling sadness, the time was approaching when we’d have to let our good dishwashing powder friend disappear to the great dishwasher in the sky. I was in for a surprise.

The seemingly everlasting dishwashing powder!
The seemingly everlasting dishwashing powder!

A full year came and went and yet the dishwashing powder would not die. It stood up and said it is not my time to go. We thought maybe it was a mistake. The appliance store had definitely told us a year’s worth and now we were well into year two. Would they charge us for the extra? And all the while our good friend kept topping up the dishwasher, week after week of reliable washes. However, it was not immortal. Year two was coming to an end, every wash a bonus but it would not last. On the final day, 9 June 2009, we laid our good friend to rest in the recycle bin. I’m pretty sure I even did the minute’s silence thing.

Tonight, the dishwasher is busy sloshing away, seemingly cavalier to the great loss we’ve experienced. I wonder where you are now, my friend? We will never forget your loyal service to king and cutlery.

Telecom XT network ad campaign a sham

Telecom launched their $574 million new XT network  on May 29 along with an ad campaign fronted by Top Gear’s Richard Hammond (who reportedly was paid $200,000 to do the lame-o ads – hey we’re in the middle of a recession, we’re struggling but Telecom still has stupid amounts of money to throw at phoney actors). Anyhoo, getting to my point, the ad centres around a stuntwoman proving how good the coverage is with the new phone. We see her in a tunnel, then out on a farm and then amazingly, sitting out on a container in the middle of the sea, making a call to the local water taxi. Ok the ad is annoying enough but recently Michelle Teague, Telecom’s head of communications and brand, came out and said this:

“It’s like in a movie, when you see actors being blown up, you know they’re not really being blown up. Initially we intended to do the whole thing but we decided it was far too dangerous. We really enjoyed the whole ‘was she, wasn’t she’ debate and it’s created a lot of buzz. At the end of the day the ad was to have an element of truth to it – which it does because the network does work in those locations – and it has to be entertaining. We have made every effort to be as transparent as possible.”

As a copywriter it’s not hard to see the corporate baloney all over this comment. There is nothing transparent about making claims about a network’s coverage and then coming out and saying it was all a big act. When I’m at the movies I’m not trying to make a decision about whether I should buy the actor’s phone or not, so drop the analogy. And as for ‘really enjoying the whole was she wasnt she debate’ – you dead-boring, champagne-quoffing corporates are probably the only ones. But it’s typical Saatchi & Saatchi rubbish, trying to see how “credible” they can be and make suckers out of the dumb masses by using some pommie in pyjamas who probably hasn’t gone anywhere near the freakin’ network, let alone “put it to the test” as he kept saying in the pre-launch ads. It just annoys me seeing pathetic ads like this torturing the public at large and insulting our intelligence – where’s the censorship when you really need it?

Seems like Telecom make a habit of lying but somehow it’s ok because, once again, it’s just an “ad”. Somebody sue these losers!

“It’s like in a movie, when you see actors being blown up, you know they’re not really being blown up.  Initially we intended to do the whole thing but we decided it was far too dangerous.

We really enjoyed the whole ‘was she, wasn’t she’ debate and it’s created a lot of buzz.  At the end of the day the ad was to have an element of truth to it – which it does because the network does work in those locations – and it has to be entertaining.

We have made every effort to be as transparent as possible.”

Farewelling a good friend

One thought on “Farewelling a good friend

  • Mon, 29 Jun, 09 at 9:17 am
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    Very well said!
    I particularly enjoyed the prelaunch bits where the guy was talking about a brand new network being “Faster than ever before” before what mate? Give us all a break!
    Cheers and well said again!

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