O2 revamps ad strategy with £70m 'value' brand push

O2: £70m ad campaign with a 'value' focus
O2: £70m ad campaign with a 'value' focus

O2 is to launch a fresh advertising strategy across all products and services, featuring a Narnia-inspired fantasy world.

The creative will be used above and below-the-line, retaining its bubbles logo, but introducing the strapline "We're always thinking about you".

O2 spent £40m on above-the-line ads in 2010, and is expected to maintain this in 2011. The group is expected to spend £70m on all media in 2011.

Ads will centre on a "cheeky" faun brand character – a half-human, half-goat, who will talk about existing O2 customers in each clip, claiming that they get better value using the brand.

Sally Cowdry, director of marketing at O2, said the priority in all marketing is to emphasise that its customers are getting value for money.

‘We found people were wary of their financial position, and there is a sense of this worsening with the VAT rise,’ she said. ‘Customers wanted to feel they were getting value for money, and wanted to know what was in it for them personally, and to be treated as individuals.’

The first set of ads is intended to show that the network’s existing customers get the best deals. Those on pre-pay tariffs are rewarded with 10% of the value of their top-ups back every month, which can be spent on calls, handsets or in-store vouchers.

A sense of optimism was essential to the campaign, said Cowdry, as was the need to put existing users at the heart of messages. "All [ads in the] new series will fit into this format," she added.

Ads were created by VCCP, with ZenithOptimedia handling media and AIS responsible for digital marketing.

"We have created a surreal world, a representation of the mind of O2, and in that world we are thinking of individual customers, who are brought into that world," said Cowdry.

Future ads in the campaign will highlight new business areas. Last week O2 launched its first 450 free Wi-Fi hotspots. It will roll out mobile payment systems in the summer. Both services are expected to feature in later ads.

O2’s regular voiceover artist, actor Sean Bean, will have a less prominent role in future campaigns, only signing off the ads, while the narration will be provided by the faun character. In a reference to previous creative, yellow plastic ducks will be shown floating down rivers.

Separately, O2 will be introducing in-store technology "gurus" to help customers get the most out of their devices.

These staff will feature in digital campaigns later in the year, with viral films also being produced to give mobile tips to viewers. Cowdry said she expected O2 to remain the top UK digital advertiser in 2011.

Separately, O2 signed a proximity marketing deal with Marks & Spencer last month, which offers O2 customers digital vouchers for free smoothies at M&S with additional purchases.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message