MEDIAWATCH: The most emotionally manipulative NZ TV advert?


It starts off so sad, a limping widower driving to visit his beloved wife and laying down flowers at her grave.

You sense the deep sadness and loss, there’s almost a magical quality in allowing male grief to even be articulated so sensitively in an age where anything male is labeled toxic.

We are drawn in with the widower, we attach emotionally as he struggles to find the new blossom of companionship in his weary face.

We see his spark come alive as he drives past a kennel and watch him select a new puppy to take home to cure his painful loneliness until he notices a 3 legged dog and we see him select this dog while showing us as he bends down THAT HE HAS ONE LEG!!!

And we cry tears of joy, sobbing at the beauty of it all and then you find out it’s a fucking advert for Trust Power!

It’s like having a passionate ménage a trois in the dark only to have lights go on and realize you are in a 3 way with Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders.

You feel dirty, used and greasy. Very greasy.

I’m all for being emotionally manipulated, but not by energy corporations!

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All that said, it’s still a billion times better than that fucking Electric Kiwi advert, am I right?


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    • I think you mean Edward Bernays isn’t Bernaise a sauce???…but yes he would have been proud of that one..but the fact that people see through the spin makes modern PR redundant as a discipline…why do pollies persist in it, public contempt for anything they say just further erodes their already minimal stature…maybe sacking the PR and Communications staff could be a start if pollies want to repair their relationship with the public
      …today spin fools nobody.

      • “…but the fact that people see through the spin makes modern PR redundant as a discipline…why do pollies persist in it……..”

        Indeed! And more and more people are seeing through it, which is why they’re losing faith in the political class and others that indulge in that bullshit spin and PR.

        God strewth! we don’t seem to learn a bloody thing from history do we.

        • It was preceded by the ad that depicted a youngish couple who renewed their friendship after meeting again after a minor car accident.

          The advertiser does seem to be getting across their message about the advantages of combining power and internet in one account.Though the two ads are a bit too sentimental for my taste.

      • except for greater fools – and there’s plenty of them out there – all running on adrenaline and dopamine

  1. Typical just shows what an uncaring prick who has no feelings you arep. We think it is the best ad on TV at present

    • Garth Houltham. “ We think it is the best ad on tv at the moment. “ This could be because you are being emotionally manipulated, successfully. Gargarin’s comments are pretty spot on. They all, including, and especially the politicians, assume that consumers are devoid of intelligence, that we all think and speak in abbreviations like you do.

      Luxon’s recent abysmal attempt to show that he’s a regular guy like everybody else, by pretending to assemble a barbecue, has to be one of the most pathetic. But they’re all as bad as each other. Linguistics manipulator
      Davidson’s having a “ barbie”, and Ardern intends reading a book, and lying around on a beach or some such.
      The PR’s are worse than pedestrian, and they are dragging us down to their level.

    • “We think it is the best ad on TV at present”
      That’d be the royal WE would it garth? You and the long suffering missus. Poor bitch

        • How nice and chivalrous of you to be offended on behalf of Garth.
          2 Brownie points!
          Maybe IF and when Garth feels offended I might opolgise – at a stretch. He doesn’t appear to have said anything so far and I’ve left it a while.
          By the way – you don’t happen to have been a ‘The Standard’ moderator do you.

    • nawww – poor 3 legged acting dog tugging at the heart strings – what a sop. it’s all an illusion and people like you buy into this garbage. Church is on Sunday – go confess your sins and give freely. I actually prefer the electric kiwi ad – at least the nausea is real.

  2. Dry water coming out of a tap was the biggest manipulation of the truth and thankfully did not gain any points for the 3 waters

  3. Trust Power got taken over, by a company I don’t like, unfortunately. They have had good customer service for a utility company, with call centre staff on shore, and not speaking English as a second or third language.

  4. And the music, for God’s sake! Not sure which I hate more – this ad or the Electric Kiwi one.

  5. I accidentally watched that trustpower ad in a motel recently and I nearly died laughing.
    If cliches were gunpowder it’d a blown roger douglas a new arse hole.
    Allowing OUR electricity to remain a privatised entity’s an inditement on us all. Us acquiescing to trustpower abuse and manipulations is something only Professor Stanley Milgram would understand? Deformity porn used to sell what was once ours back to us is something that transcends all bounds and realms of everything that represents taste and truth. In fact, I bet even bad taste was left reeling.
    But really? What else could we expect? When it comes to ‘privatisation’ all bets are off and everything by way of rorting is on the table. A sickening ad exploiting beasties with amputations is the least of our worries.
    trustpower’s ad agency would have done their homework and they’ll know more than you and me about what the public can be suckered by.

    • if our market is soooo small we can’t have competition in the grocery sector, then logically that same small population cannot sustain the faux market in energy….so let’s just nationalise it and build a shitload of hydro….yup I know cement is not environmentally sound but it’s a 1off and would result in plentiful green clean nationally owned energy
      …..and the the drugs wore off and I came round as some greenie whined about a rare tree moss in the valley in question.

  6. “Emotional” stories have been part of television advertising for some time. And they replayed ad infinitum. Thankfully, there are alternatives to watching television these days.

  7. The so-called holiday season evokes an orgy of advertising on television and is designed to persuade people to spend money they don’t have on things that they don’t need. The retailer’s annual festival. Shere tedium.

    By my count, each hour of television includes 20 minutes entirely devoted to advertising. Assuming that viewers leave their television running during the advertising, not only does the advertiser receive a tax rebate on the business expense, but the viewer subsidises the irritating advertising by buying electricity to run the TV.

    Some Internet sites offer an alternative, continue to receive advertising, or pay and view the site advertising free. Logically, since the television viewer is subsidising the advertising anyway, why not offer the alternative of a paid license to view television advertising free.

    Complicated, bureaucratic – well, where there’s a will there is a way. Video streaming companies managed to confine viewing those who pay a subscription.

  8. Ha, ha, ha!
    I wondered how long you could hold out against making comment on this ad.
    Not long at all…
    Now what about that cute cute fantail advertising fire risk?

  9. Ha, ha, ha!
    I wondered how long you could hold out against making comment on this ad.
    Not long at all…
    Now what about that cute cute fantail advertising fire risk?

  10. It’s a lovely advert. However it completely fails in its core purpose. As much as I appreciate the heart warming narrative and have seen it multiple time I wouldn’t have clue who it was for.

  11. Thanks for the info Martyn. In this household, we don’t even know what company was behind the ad, because we were emotionally involved with the story of the man and the dog.

    Same goes for the ad with the talking animals. Only discovered recently, it’s an advertisement for SKY, another profit driven corporation!

  12. The hazards of commercial TV eh? And then we’ve got a Munster of Broadcasting (and apparently a Prime Minister) that appears to be “comfortable” with it (in that space, going forward)
    I ‘spose as long as a few houses can be moved, and an earn from what was once the property of the commons continues it’ll all be tickety boo
    No wonder people are losing faith in FTA.
    Although as they do, the digitally divided will have to pay the price.
    Ya pays ya subscription and gets ya bubble that suits ya bestest.

  13. Mike the lefty I have always run in slow motion, and am getting slower. Think I could make some money doing this ? I’m a very private person, but every man has his price, and if I can transgenderise ok, then my slowness could be better than winning Lotto. More than happy to leave the lawns uncut to achieve this. Could be a good year for me, so thanks.

  14. Snow White You might be starting a new career there for yourself directly or acting as a personal life coach helping people to find some saleable commodity or specialty to take them forward into a sunlit future (where they spend all their time looking for some shade.) Now there is a new business, India used to have rickshaws but wanted to go up-market, we are going down-market and could have gig jobs walking around with wide golf umbrellas being shade concierges/ shade angels! The umbrellas would be in the ‘livery’ of some well-known store or business and that would be another income flow, handing out brochures for specials for today and tomorrow encouraging people to visit them and snap up specials seeing they are already in town.

  15. This TV ad totally fails as a clarion call to sign up to Trustpower? When I view this TV Ad I don’t see a Power Company or find myself compelled to join up, all I see is a Ad to adopt disadvantaged animals from a Shelter? They tried to be too cunning & cute by appealing to most peoples love of Pets & the fuzzy feelings they engender but this has completely backfired on them? By using sad mood music, a lonely widower & a disadvantaged dog to lure people into this bloodsucking Corporate Company called Trustpower, they have shot themselves in the foot & unwittingly provided a welcome boost for the SPCA & Animal Shelters that are doing worthy work. Thanks for that Trustpower!

  16. my dog lies down like the one in the Toyota ad – shoulda called him “bugger” – get in behind, and bugger me., bugger, oh bugger. spuds & tatoes. ghost chips. always blow on the pie. safer communities together.

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