Frucor pulls one of two V Energy spots developed by Many Minds

  • Advertising
  • July 14, 2017
  • Damien Venuto
Frucor pulls one of two V Energy spots developed by Many Minds

Ever since news broke that Many Minds had won a weighty chunk of project work for V Energy, the industry has been curious as to what the creative shop would deliver.

After two months, the wait has finally ended with the release of Many Minds’ first work for the client.

The campaign marks a significant shift in creative direction for the brand, with the launch of a new positioning, ‘Outsmart the afternoon’.

The aim of the platform is to set the V Energy product up as a foil to the mid-afternoon slump, which occurs when fatigue starts to set in.

As explained on the revamped website: “Getting through the afternoon can be a real pain some days. In fact, the mid-afternoon hump that arrives around 3 o’clock can do very strange things to you. Suddenly the most basic tasks get a whole lot harder. Smart people become stupid. Careful people make rookie mistakes. Quick tasks seem to take forever. And distractions, well, distractions are everywhere! In fact, it might be why you’re on this website right now... just saying.”

This is in many ways a return to V Energy’s earlier work, which presented V as the ‘mid-afternoon wake-up call’.

The first two executions for the new ‘outsmart the afternoon’ platform feature comedians Cole Jenkins and Ashton Brown playing mischievous characters After and Noon, who complicate the lives of workers trying to get through the day.

One spot plays out in a corporate office environment while the other takes place on a construction site.   

StopPress understands that spot set on the construction site was pulled from television by Frucor (for now, it can still be seen on YouTube as an unlisted video).

The team at Frucor was asked why the spot was pulled but we are yet to receive a response in this regard.

Looking at the work, it’s likely that the use of a nail gun as a weapon on a construction site would’ve possibly contravened at least two of the ethical codes of the ASA.

Rule seven of the ASA Code of Ethics clearly stipulates “advertisements should not contain anything which lends support to unacceptable violent behaviour” while Rule 12 says “advertisements should not, unless justifiable on educational or social grounds, contain any visual presentation or any description of dangerous or illegal practices or situations which encourage a disregard for safety”.

Furthermore, it could also be argued to contravene Basic Principle 4 of the Code, which says “all advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society”.

The latter of these two rules will be particularly relevant at a time when government and businesses are investing heavily in improving the safety conditions in New Zealand workplaces.

The seriousness of the health and safety issue in advertising was illustrated last year when Spark faced criticism for its ‘Big Tony’ ad in which the protagonist wears headphones while working on a construction site.

The criticism eventually boiled over into the ASA, with a member of the public A. Weaver lodging an official complaint with the ASA.

However, after considering both the complaint and Spark’s response, the ASA board determined that the ad could stay on-air because it did not break any specific WorkSafe policies.     

ASA chief executive Hilary Souter told StopPress this afternoon that complaints had been lodged against the new V Energy ad and that these had sufficient cause to be referred to the board.

She says a decision on the matter will be made in the coming weeks.   

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