In 2011 Telecom entered the fray to take cringe campaigns to new depths. The Sean Fitzpatrick “Abstain for the Game” promotion, complete with pledge band, and a giant plastic hand on wheels was eye wateringly appalling. This ad was leaked to the NZ Herald before it went to air, and the resulting reaction of horror ensured it was cancelled before it even began.
UPDATE: This was a campaign Saatchis had originally cooked up for Tui, which would fit better with their brand. When they immediately rejected it, Saatchis pitched it to Telecom as a bit of a Hail Mary – and to Saatchi’s surprise they bit.
But there were other ads planned that didn’t see the light of day; until now. This was planned to ramp up the devotion. A quick run-through of campaigns past calling on more drastic measures, and refocussing of amorous energy.
Dropping in the Team of Four Million people. No stone unturned, no barrel unscraped. The pledge band was presumably inspired by Lance Armstrong.
And now, “for grown-ups only” Fitz explains why he got involved. Apparently it was all fun, and then it was all about making sacrifices. Nothing about the $200k he was rumoured to have been paid. This one really is something. “Such a unique” event, a red socks reference, and much more.