Title: How two years of advertising created 12 years of value
Nominated author: Charles Vallance
Nominated client: Sean Gardner
THE JUDGES’ VIEW
This paper was the clear winner in the category. It was particularly
admired for some insightful strategic thinking which identified a
sizeable opportunity for the Orange brand, even though it was a late
entrant in the mobile market and was initially written off by many
None of the existing players had yet created a brand identity which
captured consumers’ imagination, and the paper offers an excellent
example of how insightful consumer thinking led to a brand identity
which provided a strong competitive advantage, allowing Orange to catch
up and overtake the existing players in a very short space of time.
The strongly branded campaign which ensued enabled specific elements of
the brand’s offering - both brand and tactical - to be communicated at
all levels of the marketing mix.
The paper is an excellent example of how to deal effectively with the
issues surrounding advertising evaluation within an integrated marketing
When Orange launched into the crowded mobile phones market, most
forecasters were pessimistic about its prospects. There seemed little
room for a latecomer in a sector with two established competitors and a
successful new entrant already digging itself in.
A careful look at the market, however, suggested that being late offered
one advantage: Orange could avoid the mistake which other mobile
operators had made. Mobile phones should have been a popular and
exciting sector. Instead, it had become a commodity market, with lots of
negative perceptions. Branding and brand values were largely absent.
The opportunity for Orange was to steer clear of the ghetto and develop
a fully rounded brand identity, standing for a series of positive
values. Extensive qualitative research was used to develop an optimum
positioning: the Wireless Future.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Orange at launch, it was also
imperative that the advertising should imbue the brand with confidence.
This was achieved through a media strategy which used posters to herald
each new campaign, television to communicate core brand values and
newspapers to convey detailed information.
Tracking studies through Millward Brown, the market research
consultancy, show that within two years, Orange enjoyed greater
spontaneous awareness than either Cellnet or Vodafone, and all the key
messages were being absorbed.
In addition, Orange’s brand image soon transcended the opposition, there
were dramatic improvements in the awareness scores on network benefits,
and Orange’s constant emphasis on value for money led to intent-to-
purchase scores for Orange outstripping all competitors - intentions
which turned to reality as sales of the brand outstripped those of all
digital system rivals.
Millward Brown was also asked to develop an econometric model to provide
further evidence of the effectiveness of the advertising. Isolating
other variables, this put the number of connections generated by the
advertising at 61,000, which equates to pounds 128m in additional
revenue, exceeding payback by more than four times.
And this is seen as a conservative estimate, as the model cannot account
for the longer-term effects of the advertising.
But WCRS goes further, arguing that the total contribution could be well
in excess of pounds 300m. That’s because of the unusual circumstances of
Orange’s flotation, which used a method known as discounted cash flow.
This based the valuation of the company on projected revenues, which
were certainly larger than they would have been because of the success
of the advertising strategy..