Online casino’s vampire ad draws attention for similarity to New Zealand film

  • Virgin advert is strikingly similar to New Zealand mockumentary
  • Marketing expert claims ads often borrow from world of film

The new Virgin Casino advert is attracting attention in New Zealand thanks to its resemblance to a film directed by Flight of the Conchords star Jermaine Clement.

But is it simply an homage, or a straight rip off?

The advert features a vampire living together in a flat, encouraging him and viewers to “live a little” by playing online casinos on their smartphones. However, the plot, and several of the jokes, are seen as a distinct homage to New Zealand film What We Do In The Shadows, directed by Clement and Taika Waititi. The trailer for that film is below.

”It’s not as funny”

“I’m pretty sure they got the idea from What We Do In The Shadows. I mean it’s not even like it’s kind of like it, there’s even exact lines from the movie in it”, actor Cori Gonzalez-Macuer told, who played vampire Nick in the film.

“I wasn’t annoyed by it or anything, I think it’s cute they tried to do it. It’s not as funny, but good on them. It’s a weird, weird idea to put it into a gambling ad. When I think of vampires I don’t really think of gambling.”

However, film critic James Croot defended the advert, pointing out that homages to popular films are nothing new in the world of marketing.

Croot also pointed out some significant differences, saying: “They’ve deliberately chosen a contemporary looking bloke, rather than the vampiric archetypes of that film. Also, there were some, particularly in Britain, who saw Taika’s film as borrowing liberally from the much-loved 1980s British sitcom The Young Ones, especially with its anarchic sense of humour and disparate flatmates.”

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