Opportunists pilfer expensive delights from plinth

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  • December 1, 2009
  • Ben Fahy
Opportunists pilfer expensive delights from plinth

kiwi billboard 30 11 09 003Everyone loves free stuff. Especially women, it seems, as a new campaign that tests what lengths the ladies will go to to get their hands on some of the world's most coveted items has shown.

The launch campaign of Sweet Nothings, a new low-fat ice cream from Much Moore, was created by Lachlan McPherson, creative director of Publicis Loft (his new arm of Publicis Mojo), and revolves around the idea that women find it difficult to resist temptation.

"We wanted to find out whether New Zealand women could trust themselves around things that they desire, like shoes, earrings and ice cream," he says. "We thought it would be interesting to start that conversation."

So, to test the theory, a billboard that said ‘Manolo Blahniks. Size 8' was erected on College Hill road on Monday morning and a real pair of US$850 Manolos were placed on a plinth, ready to be snatched away.

The opportunists at the Media Counsel hauled their own ladder over and the very practical ladies then sent up one of their men-folk to collect the shoes, just three hours after they were put up (the shoes are now on Trade Me and the money will go to charity).

So it shows that women definitely can't be trusted, but as McPherson says, it also shows that men can be trusted to do whatever women tell them to do.

The theory was tested again this morning when a pair of Tiffany & Co. diamond earrings went up on the plinth. And suspicions were confirmed once again: the ladies from the Media Counsel were waiting, swooping in and getting their mits on the earrings just 20 minutes after they went up.

photoMcPherson says he was taken by surprise with how quickly the shoes and earrings were nabbed. He expected them to stay up on the plinth for a week or so, which has meant the whole process has had to be sped up.

In fact, the tradesman responsible for setting up the security cameras in the billboard called him on Monday morning and said there were already a group of people milling around the billboard prodding the shoes with sticks soon after they were put up. As a result, the security cameras that were meant to capture the daring heist weren't installed in the billboard until later that day.

But he's been pleasantly surprised with the public response to the social experiment, particularly from the blogging community.

Sweet Nothings ice-cream will be the next offering on the 'interactive' billboard, but there will also be plenty of giveaways.

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