Battle of the metaphors: Vodafone gives Telecom a wink

  • Advertising
  • September 27, 2012
  • StopPress Team
Battle of the metaphors: Vodafone gives Telecom a wink

There were a few raised eyebrows when Telecom chose a turtle to play the role of brand mascot in the new Tommy and Boris campaign. And Vodafone has taken the opportunity to subtly poke fun at its major competitor with a cheeky wee number starring its spokesboy James Rolleston and a greyhound called metaphor. 

While a greyhound obviously equates to speed, which Vodafone is pushing with the line 'we're just waiting for the smartphones to catch up, eh', finishing up with 'one of the better metaphors I've seen lately' is obviously a bit of a dig aimed at Telecom's campaign.

As it says on YouTube: 

Did you know that Vodafone has built a network so fast, we're now waiting for smartphones that can keep up with it? While others are talking about their future network plans we are still waiting for smartphones that can handle the speeds we currently provide. In parts of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and other areas we already have a super fast 'Dual Carrier' (DC HSPA) network.

There's quite of bit of this advertising argy bargy in Australia. And it can get pretty ugly and low-rent at times. It doesn't generally seem to be in New Zealand's nature to take such a confrontational approach, but we're all for a bit of good natured comparative advertising, and when done well *ahem, Whittaker's, ahem*, it can be very effective. So we wait patiently to see if Telecom takes the bait. it's not all beer and skittles for Vodafone. DraftFCB rolled with punches (and then had a laugh at the expense of militant vegetarians) when it changed Pak 'n' Save's 'Meat Week' ad a while back, and it had to change one of Vodafone's recently as well. 

The ad featured a number and asked viewers to text it to receive a response from Rolleston but hundreds of them texted the wrong number. According to the New Zealand Herald, Cara Selway, whose number was one digit different to that shown on the ad, received hundreds of texts, including gems like "Hey hot vodafone boy, what up?", "I have some whitebait fritters for you," "Chur boy," and "You're Boy!"

When contacted about the problem, Vodafone apologised, credited $200 to Selway's account, scrubbed out the number in the ad and explained the fact that people had been texting the wrong number. Although whether the line 'if you like to use your phone without thinking' is another subtle dig, we'll leave up to you.  

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Save the date: Stoppies is returning for another year

  • The Stoppies
  • January 22, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Save the date: Stoppies is returning for another year

On 14 February 2019, the StopPress team will be showering the industry in love as we take a look back at the best of 2018 at The Stoppies brought to you by oOh!.

Read more
Next page
Results for

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2019 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.


Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit