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. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UWwH5grd9oBut 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.  

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