Telco Amaysim unveils David Hasselhoff campaign which duped international press

Amaysim has emerged as the brand behind a campaign which duped many major international news websites into writing articles saying David Hasselhoff had changed his name to David Hoff.

News of the brand behind the commercial stunt broke early on Saturday morning as Amaysim revealed it’s latest push to lure customers, with the campaign based around the premise of “Less Hassle, More Hoff”.

Sydney agency The Special Group was behind the the stunt after winning the business from BMF earlier this year, with the campaign positioning Australia’s fourth largest telco as offering a simple experience.

Dozens of major sites posted stories after a the former Baywatch and Knight Rider star posted a video on Youtube claiming he had changed his name to David Hoff as he’d always wanted to drop the ‘Hassel’.

In a later tweet he said “Big news today and a massive relief for me. I hope everyone can understand… it feels great!”, however the illusion was shattered when his agent revealed it was part of an Australian marketing campaign, sending sites scurrying to alter their stories.


Amaysim chief commercial officer Andrew Balint told Mumbrella the brand wanted to inject a sense of fun into its campaign and the idea of Hasselhoff changing his name was as perfect hook.

We have had over 200 media stories run in the first 24 hours, from the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald and it has gone off in the US. The response has been amazing,” said Balint.

While declining to reveal a the budget, Balint said it was the biggest spend the company had invested in since it launched in Australia in 2010.

The campaign launches on TV on Sunday and will run through to February supported by radio, digital and social, and Hasselhoff is scheduled to film a second ad in January.

Balint said he expected the campaign  to have a massive effect on the awareness of Amaysim in the Australian market.

“Four out of five Australians don’t know of us,” he said.

He also said that the unexpected revelation by Hasselhoff’s manager in the US that the name change video was part of a commercial campaign had probably helped to continue to drive interest in whether the name change was real and interest in who the brand was behind it.

Having broken cover through an exclusive story in the Daily Mail, the campaign will now extend through TV, digital, radio and social.

“We have had over 200 media hits in the first 24 hours,” he said.

Overnight the story continued to play across the UK and US.

In August Amaysim founder Christian Magel told the ADMA global forum marketing was the penalty brands paid for not having a good product, and highlighted that owned and earned channels were more effective.

“Marketing is actually the penalty that you pay for not having a good product. If you you have a good product and people buy it, you don’t need to advertise because you have such a great following they tell their friends,” said Magel.

International stars have been a feature in comedic Australian spots in the last two years.

In August last year REA Group launched a campaign starring Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger in which he confused Australia for his native Austria.

And this year Optus has harnessed the comedian Ricky Gervais to front its campaign to launch Netflix, and latterly new product releases, in a series of anti-ads.

Alex Hayes and Simon Canning


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