It took 16 scripts, each featuring slight variations - a nip here, a tuck there - to get to the one eventually used in the latest Lotto ad.
A cynic might observe, "what's the point? It's just an ad", but it's this commitment to detail that has earned advertising executive Damon Stapleton more than 500 international awards and garnered him a reputation as something of an industry sage.
More recently, it's also earned him a flash promotion to the regional role of DDB's chief creative officer across both Australia and New Zealand – a decent step up from his previous role as the creative boss for the agency's New Zealand arm.
Sitting down with the Herald for a chat, it doesn't take a lot to get Stapleton in the mood to discuss creativity in business and what constitutes original thinking in a world splintered into a multitude of often disconnected channels.
"An integrated campaign used to just be radio, TV and print," observes Stapleton.
"But today you have all these channels and you don't always have enough time to work out what would work best in which place. To do a globally world-class campaign can take nine months. It can take a year sometimes.
"And one of the dangers of that is that you could end up doing something that's easy or the first idea."
He sees his role as often steering his creative team away from the cliché, pushing them that extra "10 per cent" towards something that isn't as obvious and will ultimately surprise and entertain consumers.
While New Zealand certainly delivers its fair share of advertising gold, there have been few ads to capture local attention quite as effectively as Nike's provocative campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick last year. So a question often asked is whether New Zealand could ever deliver a campaign as big and as powerful as the one developed by Nike.
Stapleton pauses when asked this question, then starts to chuckle.
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"That's an incredibly unfair question," he says, still laughing.
"If you think about a guy like Colin Kaepernick in a market like the US, what you have is enormous scale and PR that drives the campaign. That's incredibly difficult to replicate here."
The problem isn't the quality of local ideas. As Stapleton explains, there have been a number of fantastic ideas to emerge from local agencies in recent years. The issue lies with New Zealand's cultural relevance to the rest of the world.
"If you want to make something relevant in culture, then you have to question which culture," he says.
"And if you want to make something global, America has a head start just because of the number of people who are going to talk about it.
"They have a shorthand that everyone understands. If I say 'yellow cab', people know I'm talking about New York. But if I say, 'Corporate Cabs', not many people will know what I'm talking about."
Stapleton says New Zealand's size is both a strength and weakness from a creative perspective.
"The advantages are that we can be incredibly nimble and incredibly fast to make stuff, compared to a bigger market, but for us to hit the mark, we need to rely on the idea. The idea has to be really good because what we don't have is scale."
As part of his new role, Stapleton will also sit on DDB's Global Creative Council, offering input on big global pitches and briefs to pass through the network.
With this added access at a global level, Stapleton sees an opportunity for some of the smart ideas coming out of New Zealand to be given a far bigger platform than if they were only restricted to the local market.
DDB has about 100 creatives working across Australia and New Zealand, and Stapleton's new role will give him a better vantage point to see where their various skills might be best applied. This could see a few talented creatives working with local brands, or it could also see Kiwi creatives given interesting opportunities beyond their current remit.
"There's a big role I can play in getting people to do better work," he says.
"There's the management aspect to my new role, but it's also about inspiration. It's about trying to inspire creatives to do great work. It's about being a mentor to younger people in the industry."
Any time a respected advertising creative is promoted or moves on, there can be concerns among clients about what it means for their business.
DDB Australia/NZ chairman and chief executive Marty O'Halloran tells the Herald that clients need not be concerned and that Stapleton will continue to spend the vast majority of his time in Auckland.
"We don't want to scare the local client base," O'Halloran says. "This is just an added responsibility over his day job.
"He will be guiding and mentoring the leadership of the Australian and New Zealand office in terms of our creative ambitions. We want to sprinkle some of [his] success in the Australian market."
O'Halloran says this new role really just formalises what Stapleton has already been doing behind the scenes.
"There are four creatives across our network in terms of who we look toward for global leadership, and Damon is one of those," the agency boss says.
"If I look back over the last two years, the network has consistently reached to Damon for input on global pitches. For me, it's recognising the role he has already been playing."
He sees Stapleton as offering an important strategic impact in ensuring that DDB delivers consistently good creative work not only in New Zealand but also elsewhere.
In other words, it's ensuring that Stapleton's almost religious commitment to pushing that extra 10 per cent and avoiding clichés is spread beyond our borders.
Because, who knows? That extra push might just be what's needed to reveal the Colin Kaepernick lying dormant on this side of the world.