Powershop has got plenty of marketing mileage out of showing dictators, warlords and hard nosed politicians in oxymoronic situations as part of its long-running and at-times controversial 'Same Power, Different Attitude' campaign. Given recent global events, many wondered why its last ad chose to show Mao Tse Tung dancing to Gangnam Style rather than North Korea's Kim Jong-Un. But it has now obliged, with another image by Doublefish showing the portly 'Supreme Successor' embracing his inner MAMIL, squeezing in to some lycra and going for a pedal.
Powershop's design director Simon Coley says it's hard to be optimistic about mounting tensions in North Korea, but, like Dennis Rodman, who recently ventured to the country alongside journalists from Vice, Powershop sees its Dear Leader as a glass half full.
"The ex-Chicago Bulls defensive tough guy insists that the dictator of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is simply misunderstood. He just wants to be loved. He just wants to sit down and talk. That’s all."
Taking a lesson from Rodman's school of basketball diplomacy, Powershop thinks Kim Jong-Un would also be an "awesome guy" if he shifted his focus from juggling insane, warmongering rhetoric with gross human rights abuses, took some me time and got on his bike.
Powershop's last campaign was banned from featuring on Adshels by Auckland Transport, so, along with posters and billboards, Coley says it's moving on and putting Kim on buses instead of bus stops. Still, given the threats being made, that's probably the least of their worries. So to prepare for the latest lampoon it put its ballistics experts to work and discovered that Powershop HQ in Wellington has a strategic defensive advantage: latitude.
Auckland, however, might not be so lucky.