MyRepublic, a new internet service provider offering ultra-fast fibre broadband, has touched down in New Zealand in its big purple rocket, and it's using William Shatner to communicate with us slow-internet users.
The company officially launched in New Zealand last Thursday and on Monday it debuted its brand with an ad via Energi depicting William Shatner coming out of a spaceship in a purple velour sweatshirt, rolling around a ‘Kiwi’ home on a Segway and imparting words of wisdom from a more knowledgeable time and place.
Rolling past a buffering TV he says in no-holds-barred Shatner style, “none of this buffering nonsense, that’s just bollocks.”
In a strange family dynamic, three Kim Dotcom triplets are in the next room gaming, all decked out in black tracksuits, signature Dotcom black caps and sunnies.
“Gaming with lag? It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Only you’re the fish,” Shatner exclaims.
And on he rolls.
The message: fibre broadband is fast, and it’s the future.
In Shatner’s words: “New Zealand, you deserve [bleep]ing better … You get it? No limits, no [bleep]ing boundaries.”
MyRepublic’s debut ad in New Zealand probably wasn’t cheap, but it looks it, in the best way possible. The service comes across as affordable and approachable. Although Orcon might have something to say about the liberal use of purple.
The company is a fully owned subsidiary of the Singapore operation of the same name.
Since launch in 2012, MyRepublic Singapore has locked down 25,000 customers with annual revenues of about $15 million.
MyRepublic’s main point of difference from other providers is that it's fibre-only.
The company offers two consumer plans – one for regular use, and the other for gamers.
Not only that, the provider offers a way for Kiwis to watch Shatner in some of his more traditional roles, via Netflix.
MyRepublic customers will be offered a service allowing them to get around geoblock restrictions on Netflix and other movie and TV download services currently blocked to Kiwis.
But New Zealand broadcasters have not been keen this at all. Slingshot's equivalent backdoor streaming service invoked a disgruntled reaction from our major broadcasters, with all major New Zealand TV networks banning ads for the add-on service due to concerns over its legality.
But let's not get bogged down in complex rights discussions. Let's have a Shatner advertising retrospective instead.
Here he is spruiking All Bran
Here he is for an insurance company, warning against turkey frier fire.
And here's a young Shatner and a creepy penguin in 1975.