Vodafone welcomes 5G with a surprising emotional rollercoaster

Get out the tissues. Vodafone is celebrating the possibilities of 5G in a beautiful campaign by DDB dubbed ‘Huxley’.

The two-minute ad follows the lives of two men, one being a Kiwi widower with a dog called Huxley, the other being a surgeon in Tokyo. At first, it seems the widower is having to say goodbye to Huxley as the audience watch the dog being taken to the vet and given an injection before sleeping.

However, the connection between the two men is realised at the end as it’s revealed the Tokyo surgeon has been operating on Huxley. The remote surgery shows the power of 5G.

To create the campaign, Vodafone challenged DDB to show New Zealanders what 5G is and what it will enable. The result is this emotive story that makes the new technology relatable.

Nileema Allerston, Vodafone New Zealand’s masterbrand manager, says Vodafone is excited to see how New Zealand thrives with the 5G network up and running

“We are beyond excited to bring a world-class 5G network to New Zealanders. We’ve been so inspired by the 5G transformations in our other markets – including the first remote surgeries. After seeing this first release of the ‘Huxley’ campaign, I think people will begin to realise how 5G can genuinely change how we connect.”

Damon Stapleton, DDB regional chief creative officer for Australia and New Zealand, adds the interesting thing about this campaign was the task of getting people emotionally invested in what could be seen as just a technological upgrade.

“This was a big task. We had to make people feel something for an intangible gift. We consciously decided not too go to crazy futuristic – we wanted this grounded in a human truth.

“That’s part of the reason for the 120’ spot. We needed to spend the time to connect the dots between 5G and a better life.”

  • Read Verizon Media NZ sales director Arnaud Calonne’s piece on what 5G means for marketers here.



Nileema Allerston, Manager Masterbrand​
James Mason, Brand Lead, Masterbrand​
Louise Kuegler, Brand, Advertising & Customer Insights COE Lead
Carolyn Luey, Consumer Director

Chief Creative Officer: Damon Stapleton
Executive Creative Director: Gary Steele
Creative Director: Matt Williams
Creative Director: Freddie Coltart​
Lead Business Partner: Karla Fisher
Business Partner: Natalie Pierpoint​
Senior Business Director: Jaheb Barnett
Business Manager: Toni Guy
Chief Strategy Officer: Rupert Price
Planning Director: Thinza Mon
Senior Integrated Producer: Nigel Sutton
Agency Producer: Esther Watkins
Agency Producer: Charlotte Glennon​
Production Company: The Sweet Shop
Executive Producer: Ben Dailey
Executive Producer: Kate Roydhouse​
Producer: Andy Mauger
Director: Mark Albiston
DOP: Ziga Zupancic
DOP: Marty Williams
Editor: Luke Haigh​
Soundtrack/composer/Music: Cam Ballantyne​
Stills Photography: Steve Boniface

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