MetService BillBoard Fail


Water is pouring down Auckland’s busy Victoria St, wasting precious water and showering people going up and down the busy pavement.

It’s actually raining on pedestrians.

It’s all because of this really dumb idea. An interactive  ad agency billboard for MetService, that they no doubt thought was so smart it would conquer international awards.


But the water pours down from the billboard literally showering people as if a hose has been turned on them.

Business people in business attire, who get angry.

It forces everyone to avoid the overhead shower and water tricking down the pavement that they cram onto the little dry space left at the edge of the kerb.

WT heck?

I’ve been drenched the last two afternoons.

And what message does this send from a government department wasting  water like this at a time experts tell us the next war will be over water and places like Northland are in drought?

What exactly is the magic in this?




  1. JX says:

    I have seen this Billboard myself and while I like the overall campaign for Metservice this particular billboard is reckless.

    Water issues are real for parts of NZ but regardless it just comes off as wasteful especially since community standards have changed - one where we now embrace the ideas of managed resources and conservation.

    But even all of this aside - its ugly and an annoyance all of this water raining down on people slushing onto the street and then bubbling along the road edges chip packets, bus stubs and cigarette butts all in tow. This is not a very attractive look believe me.

    The council should have it removed. The agency should chase other gimmicks for their silly industry awards and the Metservice should know better!

  2. Joshua says:

    I guess all this is confirmation the billboard is working! Good on them, nothing like a bit of controversy to get your name out there.

  3. Logan says:

    Jon C,

    Can I ask why you have been drenched twice in a row? Surely you would have figured where to walk after the first time?

  4. Criggie says:

    This story needs some video.

  5. Jon C says:

    @Logan Because I’m stupid.LOl The water does not pouring 24 hours. But has been poiuring at during the afternoon rush hour. I needed to go to Elliott St and it was the easiest way, but the wettest! I’ve learnt my lesson.

  6. JX says:

    @Joshua - Yeah right, cause it is all about that! The end justify the means right?

  7. Joshua says:

    JX - In the end it’s advertising, the best results happen when people start commenting, discussing and debating your advert. Bad advertising can be good advertising. Just thought I’d point out it working.

    And in a Marketing world, yes the end justifies the means.

  8. JX says:

    @Joshua - Indeed. Probably why they are always the first against the wall when the revolution happens :)

  9. Jon C says:

    @Joshua I understand the Hell Pizza principle of long as people are talking about it, its free advertising whether its bad taste or a bad ad. But I have no idea what the billboard is trying to get me to buy or whether its to see their website or just branding. Everyone is too busy avoiding the shower of rain and cursing MetService to take in what message it is apart from the name of the brand. I dont think thats advertising that works when I can’t recall what I’m suppose to do and it just pisses me off.

  10. Joshua says:

    Jon C - Good point, not only that but the Met Service dont have the best weather predictions either. The only thing I can think they would be selling, is access to their advance weather predictions and weather maps etc. The subscription part.

  11. Jon C says:

    @Criggie I went twice today with my vid camera but they had turned it off. I wonder why!

  12. Su Yin says:

    @Jon C: Because it was going to rain today? :-)

  13. Jon C says:

    @Su Yin But then MetService would have to have predicted that correctly.

  14. Dave says:

    FYI, Metservice is not a government department. Maybe you’d like to do some research first, oh right, this is a blog. You don’t have to get things right in a blog?

  15. Jon C says:

    @Dave It is not a private company. It’s a state opened enterprise overseen by a government minister. I could have called it a quasi government department because it is suppose to make money, hence the current bid to win the BBC forecasting contract. But it’s still bailed out by the taxpayer if anything goes wrong. Little sensitive to criticism in the MetService are we? Not surprised with the accuracy of weather forecasting.

  16. JX says:

    @Dave - Who cares - the billboard is a stupid idea & should be turned off. All it does at the moment is allow Met Service to accurately predict rain (or should I say Spray) on Victoria street!

    Today’s forecast - Cloudy in the East with a strong chance of getting wet on Victoria street. That is one predication Met Service will get right

  17. Craig Delany says:

    Hi Jon,

    Sorry to hear about your issue with the billboard which has been up since the 5th January.

    The water is recycled through a pump system, not a tap left on. The intention wasn’t for water to spray onto the footpath and my understanding is that the wind caused problems for what has proven to be a very popular billboard with lots of positive feedback until that point, and so we have removed it.

    Craig Delany
    Market Manager

  18. Jon C says:

    Craig, thanks for taking the time to respond.

  19. James Pole says:

    Wow some people need to stop taking MetService predictions as if it was the holy grail! It’s only a guideline (or indeed a prediction) and it’s sometimes right sometimes wrong. I’ve found them to be generally not too far off the mark.

  20. Kim says:

    The billboard was slowly being dismantled this morning. I guess the council would’ve received complaints as people were working on the road to get around the ‘rain’ also during peak hour traffic. Although it may well have been up since January 5th the water has only been turned on for the last few days.

    There is another MetService billboard in the CBD that is completely covered with those small colourful windmall things that children play with. I like it - and it keeps you dry.


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