Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: I don't just read the newspaper. I get it.

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Maybe I lost all my principles somewhere between being a lawyer and a journalist, but I can't quite get worked up about an advert creating a fictional company (or in this case, a partnership).

    Well, no -- and it's not as if Telecom was presenting a fictional company as a real life case study in a pitch to commercial clients. And somehow, I think a real firm of lawyers or accountants wouldn't find their staff pratting around for a Telecom ad the best way to build a professional brand, do you? "Gee, the IRD is threatening to take me to the cleaners. Must call the guy who did the electric boogaloo in that phone ad!"

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    I couldn't take advertising seriously after watching The Goodies' "It Must Be String", especially the dog food ad at 6:26 here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPCyWE-xL1s&feature=related

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Aaron Dick,

    I have a mate who is a hairdresser (and rather smart and switched on also, just to ensure no stereotypes are used here). She said that she ahd a client who claimed to work for the company in the ad.

    so, while she is annoyed that the ad is fake, she's mostly annoyed that her client lied to her. As to the company not being real, she doesn't really care...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I hadn't really paid attention to the ad, and vaguely assumed that it was a real company because the name came up at the end.

    Then when it became a controversy, I looked straight at it, and it was immediately obvious that it was talent, rather than real people.

    Which I actually think is a bit of a shame. It would have been way more meta if the agency had actually found the talent in situ and spent two months rehearsing them. It would have been a media story to tell, and in the era where Stars in Their Eyes gets to air, kinda zeitgeisty.

    I'd have been impressed by that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    Most of the noise about this ad came from the advertising blog Campaign Brief New Zealand (sorry, don't know how to do links).

    The people getting exercised are largely, IMO, industry juniors who seem to have nothing better to do than slag each other and their agencies anonymously. Edifying it isn't.

    I saw the ad tonight. It's nicely shot and the talent, to the agency's credit, are a couple of cuts above the often vacuous chocolate box types. The music's good and I smiled. It's not an ad that will win an award and it's not an ad that will win me as a customer. But it's not bad.

    I don't think the issue's about it being fake but more about it being 'derivative'. What they seem to forget is that there are no small number of much lauded and applauded ads that have borrowed from popular culture. The "Wassup' campaign for Budweiser that was all the talk a couple of years ago was based on a short film that an actor (who later appeared in the ads) had made. My favourite is a sweet little ad made for Maxell tapes in the 80's. It was based on something that Bob Dylan had done. In both those cases the industry knew where the idea had come from but happily acknowledged the creativity of the ad.

    Plus ca change.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'd have been impressed by that.

    In Paul Reynold's swivel chair, I'd be even more impressed if someone could come up with a masterplan to turn around the (largely self-inflicted) damage to the Telecom brand. I don't think even Spot The Dog Redux would induce me to move away from an ISP phone provider I'm pretty happy with. Certainly happier than I was with Telecom.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    I'd be even more impressed if someone could come up with a masterplan to turn around the (largely self-inflicted) damage to the Telecom brand.

    That's the other thing about this ad. It's not Telecom. I know that's the logo on the bottom but it feels more like the youthfulness of Vodafone. Telecom, in the good days of Saatchi Wellington (Spot the Dog and a serious number of very good ads before and after) was intelligent, wel-mannered and a leader. Now it feels desperately like a middle-aged man trying to talk 'yoof'.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Now it feels desperately like a middle-aged man trying to talk 'yoof'.

    Nicely put, James. And the thing about those Vodafone ads - I know they're not aimed at people like me, who wear cardigans without irony. :) But I couldn't really imagine them doing a Spot The Dog either.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    The worst bit is, Craig - dirty secret because I'm a Vodafone customer since the days of Bell South - I have no memory of any of Vodafone's current ads. That's how much/little impact they've had on me. Mind you, I saw their spokesman on Campbell live defeding their pricing of the iPhone. He sounded exactly like somebody from Telecom. A curse on both their houses, I think.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    What's the issue with an ad not being real?

    That was a bit of an issue with the drink drive ad and the guy got a conviction for drink driving. The issue came from his contractual obligations not to.

    And what's the issue over the price? Is someone getting a free phone at Campbells TV show cause they're high but not too much - possing has it's price.
    http://www.vodafone.co.nz/iphone/plans.jsp#expander2

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    I wonder if this is similar to the outcry after TVNZ screened Forgotten Silver back in the 1990s, when people found out it was a superb fake. We'd so wanted it to be true, no matter how outlandish, it was a real letdown to discover the truth!

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    I thought it was a real company in a fake ad. Why? Because their name came up.

    When something's written down for some reason it becomes that little bit more truthful (seeming). Last night i saw the Telecom ad and then a minute or so later there was an ad for charitable donations to scientists*. The scientists were all named via captions and I thought, "well that must be who they are... wait a minute! I'm not getting scammed again. Nice try Saatchi"


    *which obviously made a HUGE impression because I can't remember what exactly it was for

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Errrrr... Its an ad.

    In other threadjacking news, a lovely taxi driver (Mr. Khan, of co-op taxis) handed in my vey expensive digital SLR to the police after I left it (sans any form of easily identifying ID) in his cab in my various nocturnal wanderings on Saturday night. I had no idea what cab firm or even what time (well, i knew it was between 2.30am-4.30am) I mislaid it, so I was naturally dispairing of seeing my little friend ever again. However the police, showing the skills of Sherlock Holmes, tracked me down in 48 hours and I was reunited with my camera late yesterday.

    Moral of the story: Never combine alcohol with trying to carry your camera and pay the taxi driver and keep an eye on your stormtrooper helmet and keep an eye on Ms. Rainbow Bright, Ms. Pussy Galore and Mr. Nacho Libre all at once.

    Just wanted to share a good news story about an honest taxi driver, and a police force going the extra mile. :)

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I think the way the name of the company comes up makes it look like an assertion of actualness. Presenting credentials, like.

    Worked up about it? Not especially.

    It's vaguely like how if, for example, a bank were to have individuals telling their personal banking stories people might assume it's real because if they're just made up, why would that encourage anyone to bank there?

    I recall reading a story about a UK campaign some time ago that said "Real people talk about [some company]". In the end they had to admit that the people were actors and, in that sense, not real people.

    Incidentally, are we sure it's one take? I only watched it the once but a couple of those wild turns seem blurry enough...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Beer just isn't that much fun,

    Shame on you D, Beer is that much fun!

    Even just a month ago, the brain-damaged woman in the LTSA ads simply turns out to be Australian…

    There's a poor taste joke going begging there...

    wonder if this is similar to the outcry after TVNZ screened Forgotten Silver back in the 1990s, when people found out it was a superb fake. We'd so wanted it to be true, no matter how outlandish, it was a real letdown to discover the truth!

    You're right - I twigged when they enhanced the date on the newspaper in the Richard Piearse scene. I was really angry. Next day I laughed like a drain.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    That Fernleaf Butter family that had everyone entranced in the early 90s? Fake.

    The Fernleaf family was obviously played by actors and they were obviously acting.

    The Telecom ad looks like it could have been made by real people who'd made the ad as part of some workplace team-building exercise.

    There are plenty of ads that feature a case study of a real person or company, showing how the product has benefited them. That's what the Telecom ad seemed like.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    __Even just a month ago, the brain-damaged woman in the LTSA ads simply turns out to be Australian…__

    There's a poor taste joke going begging there...

    I did wonder...

    Do NZ cigarette packets have the luridly coloured photos of decaying feet and flesh? Tell me they're not real please? Were I a smoker, it'd put me off (don't nobody tell me where I can see images of my liver but...)

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Hah - yes we have those lovely pictures on our ciggy packs, I was watching an ad last night with a tragic case - a guy recounting his radiotherapy as a result of smoking (no idea if he was an actor).

    Lots of lurid pictures of cancer, tragic slurring of lines - at this stage I wonder if it'd be easier now just to ban cigarettes completely.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Even just a month ago, the brain-damaged woman in the LTSA ads simply turns out to be Australian…

    There's a poor taste joke going begging there...

    Er, I think I did make that joke Llew, right there. Too subtle? :)

    I think if the ad hadn't had "McCallum & Partners Friday Drinks" at the end, you wouldn't have got the same warm fuzzy feeling - it would've just seemed like exactly what it was, a bunch of extras miming to a song for a Telecom ad. And where's the point in that.

    Robyn - the issue you seem to get at, and other people have said to me, is that because it's kinda lo-res, it's somehow more authentic. That's hardly a new technique either though - but normally they put a flashing "REC" button in the bottom corner to make it look like a home video camera viewfinder.

    Grading, degrading and otherwise changing the apparent film quality (I'm thinking of the L&P stubbies ad here too) is pretty common to create a more 'authentic' effect.

    There are plenty of ads that feature a case study of a real person or company, showing how the product has benefited them.

    Yeah, and when Steve & Dan of Huffer tell you that Westpac is great for their business, do you really think they came forward out of a sense of civic duty, or did the bank say "we'll give you $10k and no fees for a year..."? Should we believe them more?

    (And those BNZ ads with the stereotypes, Asian haircut guy, Scottish dad etc, are cleeeearly fake)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Too subtle? :).

    I like to get my sledgehammer out nice & early.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I vote we all boycott McCallum & Partners for deceiving us. That'll screw 'em.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Do NZ cigarette packets have the luridly coloured photos of decaying feet and flesh?

    Hell yes -- my response, I'm a depraved nicotine addict who's had skankier looking offal for breakfast. Someone's not bringing their A-game here. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • kiwi kat,

    Even just a month ago, the brain-damaged woman in the LTSA ads simply turns out to be Australian

    Hah!

    I can kinda handle that. But I will be most peeved if the trachy guy from the 'it's not worth it' smoking ads is not for real. Both people have me screaming for the remote although the cancer guy is slightly more appealing and the ad itself is far more clever.

    Gurgle.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Too subtle? :).

    I like to get my sledgehammer out nice & early.

    Maybe type "boom boom" after the next one. That might filter through to my tired brain.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    (And those BNZ ads with the stereotypes, Asian haircut guy, Scottish dad etc, are cleeeearly fake)

    Umm, they're for ANZ.

    BNZ have flying pigs. I'm undecided as to whether or not the pigs are real.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

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