Ad Nut
Feb 27, 2020

Public breakup ad turns out to be another Circles.Life stunt

The Daily Mail excitedly jumped on the breakup letter by a heartbroken Charlotte, who, it transpires, is a fictional character invented by Circles.Life. Well played.

Public breakup ad turns out to be another Circles.Life stunt

A breakup letter that appeared in Australian tabloid The Courier Mail was in fact a stunt staged by telco Circles.Life, as part of its ongoing attempt to get people to split with their current telcos.

The letter from a heartbroken Charlotte appeared on page 15 of the newspaper on Wednesday (February 26). It read: 

My dearest T,
Why’d you hurt me?
I’ve spent late nights waiting for you to respond, to no avail.
I’ve always picked you up whenever you asked me to.
I’ve given you the space you needed, despite your control issues.
I’ve realised that the gifts you “buy” for me, are actually bought with MY credit card.
I’m done.
I’m done with constantly giving and never receiving.
My friends tell me that I deserve better. I think so too.
So yes, honey, I’m breaking up with you. Over. This. Ad.
Thank you, next.
Charlotte

The letter quickly went viral in Australia, with the Daily Mail even writing a story about it, excitedly writing that "An apparently heartbroken woman has taken out a large newspaper ad to dump her lover after she found out they were using her credit card to buy her gifts." Hilarious.

Well, Australia, you've been punk'd! Turns out the public breakup was in fact a stunt by Circles.Life, which has run a follow-up ad today (February 27) annotating the letter with promises of a being a better partner. The ad includes a cheeky code, "BUHBYE", that will give new customers that transfer from a rival telco additional benefits.


The Singaporean telco only launched in Australia in September last year, and hopes this week's campaign will help announce its presence.

Head of marketing Delbert Ty said: “We’ve had bad experiences with telcos for so long that many of us feel resigned to the fact that being with a telco means dealing with the terrible service and poor customer experience. We wanted to show Australians that it’s as toxic as a relationship and nudge them into taking the step towards being with a telco that will never let you down.”

Criticising rivals is a common tactic employed by Circles.Life, which regularly positions itself as a "new breed" of telco. The 4-year-old telco announced its entrance in Singapore in 2017 with a campaign called 'Data Dare' that played on the fact that telco plans at the time were skimping on data. It also ran an "open letter" print ad in April last year congratulating its rivals for "following our lead", to advertise the fact it was upgrading users to a new plan. Last week it ran a print ad in Singapore's Straits Times addressed to its "telco friends", in which it used a series of charts to show how its customer experience beats its rivals.

Ad Nut is just pleased that Circle's strange human-cat hybrid is no longer terrorising the streets of Singapore. What a frightful stunt that was.

Long in the tooth industry observers such as Ad Nut can't help but be reminded of another "breakup" campaign, which did quite well for Australia's NAB bank: see "Clemenger BBDO Melbourne wins Cannes PR Grand Prix with Break Up campaign". 

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.

 

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