CROUCH, TOUCH, pause and don’t engage.
That is essentially what Telecom is asking supporters to do during the Rugby World Cup this year.
As part of its ‘Abstain for the All Blacks’ campaign – to start late next week – the telecommunications giant is urging fans on its BackingBlack website to forgo sexual intercourse during rugby’s glamour event to support the team.
The campaign, to be fronted by former All Blacks skipper Sean Fitzpatrick, will see participants will wear black rubber finger-rings to show they have signed up for the World Cup next month.
Organisers hope it will galvanise the New Zealand public in the same way Sir Peter Blake’s red socks did during Team New Zealand’s successful America’s Cup campaign.
“We've tried to take a way that is fun and is absolutely tongue-in-cheek and is absolutely based on what, we think, is Kiwi humour to get the nation rallying behind the All Blacks,” Telecom director of marketing Kieren Cooney to the NZ Herald.
“So this is something which I don't think is prudish or is precious but is one which is a good laugh.”
The campaign will run in various media. Posters bearing the slogan, ‘Touch, pause and don't engage’ will be placed in bus shelters.
Originally, the plan also included signs above urinals in bars and restaurants, urging men to ‘Think of your mum in a bikini – Abstain for the All Blacks,’ but they were cut from the campaign.
The New Zealand Rugby Union was initially understood to be irritated by the campaign, but last night issued a statement supporting it.
"Telecom and BackingBlack are great supporters of the All Blacks, and put a lot of energy and creativity into getting fans involved," says NZRU commercial manager Paul Dalton.
“Our partners manage their own creative ideas but we are in the loop on their latest campaigns, and as with other BackingBlack activity we expect this to be entertaining and get people talking.”
However, he refused to say whether the players themselves would be abstaining from sex during the Cup.« Back to Archives
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