This morning there is much discussion about the latest advertisement created by Telecom New Zealand. The video (see below) is apparently an office scene after Friday night drinks with staff lip-syncing to a popular song. So far so good – cutting edge, viral-esque and different.

Things get a bit more complex though. Turns out that the video was inspired from the Connected Venture video of a similar ilk.

It also turns out that the Telecom video was made in a fake office, with professional actors by high profile add agency Snitchi and Bitchi.

The twitterati, bloggerati and digerati have been quick to lash Telecom, saying it shows no imagination or vision and at first blush I agreed. But then I thought about it… Telecom New Zealand sells to (guessing here) four million or so New Zealanders. Of those Four millions I reckon about ten thousand understand what is wrong with the video and will watch it and be turned off. The remainder will be left thinking that it’s a hip message and Telecom is at the forefront of technology. If that is the case – who are we to judge? Telecom has no option but to “talk to” the highest proportion of its own customer base as possible – I know some of the marketing people within the organisation and I’m sure that they’ve thought about this stuff and considered the pros and cons of the ad.

That said, it does strike me as strange that Telecom didn’t just grab some pizzas and a few beers and a video camera and go and visit an office somewhere to create their own, authentic add. I guess it’s all about an appetite for risk within a publicly traded company.


Disclosure – Diversity Limited is a consultant to Telecom New Zealand and its subsidiaries.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Err Lip Dubs.. All the range in Silicon Valley….. Last week!!!!

    Revision3 also did one


  • When I saw it I instantly thought of Connected Ventures (Vimeo, CollegeHumor, Busted Tees, and Defunker.) who have done many lip dubs.

    While I thought “ugh lame” I guess it doesn’t matter that they are copying other people (how often does that happen in adverts!?) what matters to me is that they pass it off as a normal office when in fact it is all fake.

    Connected Ventures starting the trend but many others have copied –

  • bobjohnsoin |

    there have been plenty of lip dub videos – I’ve found a few that were done several months before the CV video. for example:

    Does it really matter?
    Not at all – advertisers make ads that they think people will think are cool (particlularly for tehcnology). Vids of people lip synching are very popular online. It was only a matter of time before someone made an ad like this.

    It’s not rocket surgery.

  • I’ve left something similar on Spare Room after reading the comments there… I really don’t see the big deal. I like the add; I think it’s fun, and the song is great (go kiwi music). I don’t think it’s misleading. I’ve worked in plenty of fun, vibrant offices that while they may not put on a musical do love to drink, play music and race around the office on a Friday night come pay week!

    I don’t care that it’s not real – very little advertising on TV shows real people enjoying a company’s products or services.

    Even Westpac/ANZ and other banks showing ‘real’ people or celebrities are still scripted – some more than others (and did anyone think they might actually be getting paid to be themselves). Telecom’s ‘Connecting New Zealander’s’ TV campaign featuring real people sitting on a couch was good example and gave the people staring some genuine surprises. But what about Telstra Clear’s dragging countries closer – I don’t expect my internet or phone connection to literally do that, or that by going with Vodafone will I be able to walk into a store and buy a pack of boobs off the shelf. Personally I think this is just a case New Zealander’s getting grumpy and over-reacting again (and yes I’m a Kiwi). Surely there are bigger problems to deal with? Why not contribute something worthwhile towards those instead?

    In closing I couldn’t care less about the add being fake. It does illustrate what can be done and the fun that can be had with their products, which my guess is would have been their point. Get over it!

  • Pix ANkersmit |

    Your all spelling ad wrong, it’s not “add”.

  • @Pix – your should be spelt “you’re”


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