Following in the footsteps of ambush advertiser Moa Beer, New Zealand pizza brand (and notoriously controversial advertiser) Hell Pizza is also mocking Telecom NZ’s pulled ‘Abstain for the game’ campaign.
Leveraging the publicity surrounding the telecoms outfit’s much derided ‘Abstinence’ activity, which aimed to promote its status as an official All Blacks sponsor, Hell has rolled out a ‘pro-sex’ response.
This pun-based, unsubtle ad is right in line with the pizza brand’s advertising heritage and tone.
The pizza brand’s marketers, along with agency Barnes, Catmur & Friends, has released this direct, sweary, pun-based print execution to make the most of all the attention surrounding Telecom NZ’s work.
“We’re rooting for New Zealand. Abstinence is for people who don’t give a _ _ _ _
Hell Pizza, a New Zealand based chain founded in 1996 and now expanded to Australia, Canada, Ireland and the UK, is well known for its forthright, direct adverts.
In 2006 it promoted its ‘Lust’ pizza by distributing 170,000 branded condoms. It claimed that “while the primary aim of the campaign is to promote our LUST pizza, let’s not forget that promoting the use of condoms has important public benefits such as sexual education, the prevention of pregnancy and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections’.
A recent radio spot featuring a humorous conversation about Hell was criticised to be mocking of Christianity and deemed offensive by some. But the ASA ruled that there were no grounds to take any action on the complaint since “it did not reach the threshold to be likely to cause serious or widespread offence”.
The brand courted further controversy when it used the tagline ‘sell your soul in TV and print ads and on flyers and web work. Marketers went even further with a connected stunt that saw the company purchase the soul of a 24-year-old Wanganui man for $5001after the online auction website Trademe banned him from selling his soul on its platform.
Yet another edgy campaign came in 2008 when Hell was forced to apologise for an ad featuring skeletal remains of Sir Edmund Hilary, Heath Ledger and the Queen Mother dancing on gravestones. The ad was withdrawn after complaints from Hilary’s family.