Paul Henry goes nuts
Rogue broadcaster Paul Henry will be back on New Zealand screens this month promoting a popular nut and nougat chocolate bar.
He says the ad allows him to be himself. He is to be the face of Mars' Snickers and shot his new TV commercial in Auckland over the weekend.
Mars New Zealand marketing director Pete Simmons told NBR ONLINE Mr Henry was chosen for the campaign because he is mean.
"The campaign is about what happens when you¹re hungry and he pulls off meanness, which is what we want."
Mr Simmons would not disclose how many insults used in the commercial were Mr Henry's own material, but says it was a "collaborative effort".
"There's a certain amount of ad-libbing there, but whether it can all go to air is another story. There's a lot of a great material."
Mr Simmons said there was always a risk in using someone like Mr Henry given his reputation but said "we believe he has what is required to carry out this campaign".
Mr Henry he was happy to show audiences how meanness can be fun and celebratory.
"I am excited to be involved in something which essentially just allows me to be myself."
Mr Henry said it has never bothered him that people thought he was mean.
The ad is part of the You're Not You When You're Hungry campaign, which also features Betty White, Joe Pesci and Liza Manelli.
In the series, characters are shown to have the undesirable traits of the high-profile celebrities, until they are returned to their usual selves by eating a Snickers bar.
Mr Simmons remains tight-lipped about what exactly Mr Henry does in the advert but says he was a complete professional.
The ad will be screened on New Zealand television during the Bledisloe Cup match later this month.
There are no plans to screen it in Australia, where Mr Henry's new breakfast show is struggling.
In June last year, the Broadcasting Standards Authority fined TVNZ $3000 after a Breakfast segment during which Mr Henry riffed on the name of Chief Minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit.
His comments included, "Dikshit .... that’s so appropriate because she’s Indian, so she would be dick in shit, wouldn’t she, do you know what I mean, walking along the street."