The Man in the Glass House


CAMPAIGN: Wired comedian to live in Connect Box for 10 weeks

THROUGH the launch of its In the Connect Box concept, FNB Connect has challenged one man to live his life inside a glass box for 10 weeks using only FNB Connect’s Surf (data) and Talk (voice) product offerings.

Voted as “best Internet service provider for customer service as well as billing” in the 2009 MyBroadband survey, FNB Connect aims to use its digital platform to showcase inventive ways for FNB clients to save on costs in today’s highly competitive broadband and telecommunications market.

“The aim is to prove that through FNB Connect you can live your whole life digitally and at the same time do it for a lot cheaper compared with most other ISPs. We wanted to do this in a fun and dynamic manner by developing a campaign that embraces the digital world in keeping with our status as a virtual Internet service provider,” said Zanele Hadebe, marketing head for FNB Connect.

The FNB Glass House

FNB Glass House

The FNB Glass House - Thomas Gumede's home for the next few weeks

FNB has created a see-through state-of-the-art glass house that consists of a tastefully decorated sitting room, bedroom, kitchen (kitted with the latest appliances) and obviously a bathroom which will not be visible to the public.

The portable home is moving from shopping mall to shopping mall nationally and will allow Thomas Gumede to do live interactions with the general public online and by use of a cellphone and using Internet software.

Live interactions will demonstrate how effective, user-friendly and cost effective three online FNB products are. Anyone who happens to be in the vicinity of the house (which will be moved to various shopping malls during the 10-week period) will see the Gumede’s every move, except (of course) for his bathroom and shower breaks.

The benefit of Gumede living in the house in public spaces will enable folk to physically see how the products are used as well and mingle cyberly with this young celebrity.

The concept, which went live on October 14, is one of the most effective ways live or on a television screen to show physically how online products work. Once the 10 weeks are over, the general public will get an opportunity to win the plentiful new-age appliances occupying the glass house.

The man inside the glass box

Thomas Gumede
Thomas Gumede

The Connect box will travel nationwide, making a series of visits to shopping malls in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town.

Travelling with the Connect Box is up-and-coming comedian Thomas Gumede. He will live his life in the box, which started in Jo’burg on October 14, making his final exit on December 20 in Cape Town.

Gumede is a young actor and comedian who originally hails from Tongaat in KwaZulu-Natal. He has acted in major South African television drama series, including Rhythm City and A Place Called Home. He is currently on our screens as the presenter for a reality series called So You Think You’re Funny and has released a stand-up comedy DVD, Thomas Gumede Live.

The FNB Connect Challenge
Gumede’s challenge is to exhibit what can be done using FNB Connect online. His aim is to prove that you can do anything, anywhere, anytime for less using only the Internet.

Through Facebook, Twitter and his personal website and blog at www.intheconnectbox.co.za, Gumede will be set daily tasks that he will need to undertake using only Cell Pay Point, eBucks, an FNB credit card and FNB Connect Surf (data) and Talk (voice).

Members of the public will be encouraged to assist him in delivering on his tasks or even create tasks for him to undertake. The public will also be able to communicate with Gumede throughout the campaign.

Thomas will live in the house all by himself for 10 weeks, without any visitors from family, friends or colleagues. He will not be allowed to leave the house unless compromising circumstances arise — for instance if the house gets flooded in a freak plumbing accident.

The young comedian will live his life vicariously through three FNB on-line products, which have been designed to make using the Internet much easier, faster and more cost effective. The benefits of these services will be fully demonstrated by Gumede — educating the public on how the products work.

“We are really excited to have Thomas involved in this groundbreaking campaign as he brings huge value to the campaign. Our aim is to showcase to our clients that through our innovative data and voice product offering, FNB clients can save substantially with FNB Connect,” said Hadebe.

Connect Box dates around the country:

  • Johannesburg: Cresta Shopping Mall: 14-18 October, East Rand Mall: 21-25 October, 2009, Clearwater Mall: 28 October – 1 November and the FNB Whiskey Live Festival at Sandton Convention Centre: 11-14 Nov
  • Durban: Gateway Shopping Mall: 18 – 28 November
  • Cape Town: Canal Walk: 1- 6 December, Cape Gate Centre: 8 – 13 December and V&A Waterfront: 15 – 20 December

FNB Connect is a virtual internet service provider, providing:

  • FNB Connect Surf: a prepaid ADSL data solution that offers clients unshaped data that makes it ideal to surf the web, conduct online activities such as gaming, downloading of big files and making internet calls. There are no caps, no contracts and a 12 month data carry over.
  • FNB Connect Talk: a voice offering that can save FNB clients up to 50% on their phone bill using an existing internet connection to make calls from their PC, compatible cellphone or landline. Free calls can also be made when calling other FNB Connect Talk users.

For more information on the FNB Connect campaign, please visit the In the Connect Box website at www.intheconnectbox.co.za or to learn more about FNB Connect please visit www.fnbconnect.co.za

One response to “The Man in the Glass House

  1. Sounds like poor Thomas ran afoul of Bob Newhart (SNL skit: “Stop it or I’ll bury you alive in a box!”).

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