All good things must come to an end (except for honey, which doesn't have an expiration date) and the axe is currently hanging ominously over Ira Goldstein, the New York banker who, since 2000, has been the endearingly stupid face of ASB bank.
The big account recently shifted from TBWA\to Droga5 and with the shift of agencies is the expectation that Goldstein, who is played by American actor Stephen Mellor and has featured in over 60 TVCs, is likely to be put out to stud.
TBWA's chief executive Dave Walden thinks plenty of Kiwis will miss his pratfalls, dubious humour and incompetence when he finally departs. He's certainly been a loyal, bumbling servant and Walden says Goldstein has succeeded in the rather difficult task of bringing "warmth and likeability" to a banking brand.
So how will he depart? Will there be a horrible bungee jumping accident off the Sky Tower? Will P addicted street urchins pounce on him after he uses an ASB cash machine without properly covering his pin number? Will the XT network cut out in the middle of an important call to the boss? Will he be implicated in a Ponzi scheme and charged with bringing down the world's financial system? Will he be deported for being too attractive (like this New York banker)? Will the gold ASB robot return for vengeance? Or will he shack up with Shania Twain and live happily at her luxurious Wanaka estate?
We think he deserves a good send off, so add your suggestion for a fitting finale to the comment wall and the best efforts will win some Film Festival tickets. We've got three double passes to the Auckland showings of Autour De Minuit (either 20 July at 2.15pm or 24 July at 3.15pm at Skycity) and three double passes to Animation Now (either 17 July at 1.45pm or 18 July at 11.30am at Skycity). And if you don't win, you should still go, even if it's just to catch a glimpse of the work of the talented French folks behind the Oscar-winning short film Logorama.