Here was my first thought: Abstain for the All Blacks, fuck that. Then I realised that was mildly funny so I tweeted it. Of course this is another ridiculous attempt to do something, anything, during the World Cup. Ad agencies seem to be flailing around looking for ideas and just running with some of the worst things I've seen since the German FIFA World Cup mascot. And the media love it.
Everything is a "PR disaster", but it's worse than that, it's just sad and uncreative. I'm guessing this new campaign for Telecom from Saatchi will be some "clever" pun on abstinence and not actually be a plan to keep those good-looking bastards from Ireland coming here and taking our women-folk. But it still feels tired right out of the blocks.
Telecom and Saatchi are already hinting that this campaign will be a joke of some kind. But clever jokes are hard to pull off (again sorry for the phrasing); you need good comedic timing otherwise the whole thing falls flat.
It seems like it should be fairly simple to get people excited about a large international event in New Zealand without needing an "edgy" ad campaign (which is kind of funny when you know what edging is). Are we that jaded that you can't just say something like: New Zealand is up against the rest of the world. Let's win this one.
Clearly no marketing companies will be frantically emailing me (link's at the bottom guys) but you get the idea, right? I don't think you need to be clever to get New Zealanders to support the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup when it's being held in New Zealand!
We don't need gimmicks to be proud of our country. Clearly this hype is just hurting the build-up and (if you'll excuse the phrase) turning people off. Every new campaign comes with built-in cynicism.
Though there have been some good ad campaigns, like the Steinlager one. I feel it accurately captures the feeling of New Zealand rugby fans and how long we've had to wait. Nothing quirky, no theme song, just an honest portrayal of a fan who is genuinely excited. Sure the white can is a gimmick, but it's a nice link to the past - and more importantly a time when we won.
The TVNZ ads are the same. Just show how happy rugby fans are that the cup is on again and that it's here. Tap into the energy that we all have, that fuels our (slightly masochistic) belief that we will win again, despite the All Blacks traditional quadrennial "loss at a very important stage tournament".
A really edgy campaign would be one that targets people who don't like rugby in a way that makes them feel good about the tournament being here. Perhaps one that promotes having fun in the various places that have games, or one that promotes sensible drinking and stopping your mates from being dicks. In fact that would be very popular.