This Relatable Ad for Fiber Internet Brings the Frustrations of Slow Wi-Fi Into Real Life

Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand shows how lag holds you back

Wi-Fi glitched image
Carl contends with a number of lag-fueled issues thanks to his slow Wi-Fi. Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand

It’s 8 a.m. You log on to your first Zoom call of the day and, thanks to your shoddy Wi-Fi, you immediately freeze on screen. Cue a frantic restart.

Next, you contend with a day of relentless buffering as you try to finish a work project, your stress levels rising so high you want to launch your laptop out of the window and maybe just resign.

For anyone working from home right now, these problems likely sound horribly familiar.

But imagine if these frustrations weren’t confined to our digital worlds and were also features of our real, physical lives? Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand brought that hell to life in a funny TV spot for fiber broadband provider Chorus.

In the ad, a character named Carl experiences a “bad net” day, which sees him in a variety of frustrating scenarios. First, he tries to say good morning to his neighbors but gets frozen. Then, he tries to read the paper, but the text hasn’t fully loaded yet. Meanwhile, his dog tries to play with a ball that is suspended in mid-air, a reference to the enduringly frustrating “beach ball” dreaded by Mac users. 

Eventually, Carl loses his temper before being rescued by the team at Chorus, who come to install fiber internet.

“Often, people aren’t aware that their poor experience isn’t normal and that they don’t have to put up with it,” said Corey Chalmers, executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand. “We hope this will serve as a reminder that there is a solution out there that will put an end to Kiwis’ ‘bad net’ experiences.”

The campaign will run across TV, online video, out of home, radio, digital and social.

Client: Chorus
Creative agency: Saatchi & Saatchi NZ
Creatives: Kristal Knight and Corey Chalmers
Media agency: FCB
Production company: Sweetshop
Director: Damien Shatford
Executive producer: Ben Dailey
Executive producer: Kate Roydhouse
DOP: Nigel Bluck
Production designer: Guy Treadgold
Post / VFX: Blockhead – Stefan Coory
Audio: Liquid Studios – Craig Matuschka
Music: licensed Recording Debussy – Clare de Lune

@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.