Ben Smith puts his best foot forward

  • Advertising
  • May 3, 2016
  • Damien Venuto
Ben Smith puts his best foot forward

Ben Smith may have won a Commonwealth Games gold in 2011, scored the most tries in 2013 Rugby Championship and been part of the World Cup winning squad in 2015. But none of these feats, not even claiming the man of the match award in a World Cup semi-final, will ever match up to the grandeur of stepping out of a Harraways instant oats packet.

Exiting boot first to the feigned surprise of a Kiwi family, Smith pulls off his most impressive move yet in a delightfully awkward new ad (produced by Dreams in Shadows) for the brand.

This might be a spot for instant oats, but cheese abounds as the All Black takes his seat on the kitchen counter in this family abode.

While the ad does rate high on the cringe factor, the scene is so ridiculous that it almost becomes endearing (almost).

It’s often said in advertising that the worst ads are those that pass by without being noticed, but this is a criticism that could never be levelled at the Harraways ad. Once witnessed, it becomes incredibly difficult to shake the ad from one's consciousness—mostly because it's not every day that you see an All Black fitting into such a tiny space (there must've been a few claustrophobic moments for Smith in there).  

What’s more is that this isn’t even Ben Smith’s standout promotional performance. That accolade can only go to his spot for Slumberzone, which contains memorable lines like: “You have a few coffees, and then there’s another few hours before the game, to have a sleep, so I hop onto my Slumberzone bed for a nap.”

Let it be known that Smith does not let caffeine stand in the way of his mid-morning/afternoon naps. And he similarly does not allow the lowly laws of physics (or privacy) stop him from sitting on a kitchen counter when he feels like it.   

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Diversity and inclusion in action: Why Spark gets behind the Pride community

  • Media
  • February 21, 2019
  • Sarah Williams
Diversity and inclusion in action: Why Spark gets behind the Pride community

One of Aotearoa's biggest companies, Spark, is a firm supporter of the LGBTQI+ community through its annual Pride advertising campaigns, its partnership with charity OUTline, and its diversity and inclusion values within the company. Head of brand at Spark New Zealand Sarah Williams explains why the company chose to champion this social issue, how these campaigns attract both the loudest praise and the greatest vilification from New Zealanders, and why that it makes it the most important cause the company champions.

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