Cannes Lions

Ready to Explore

GLASNOST, Amsterdam / VODAFONE / 2018

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Our research showed that a prototype of the first waterproof VR-headset was being tested, making it possible to experience the world of virtual reality under water. We also discovered through research that swimming with Great White Sharks topped one in every three Dutchies’ bucket lists. However, the best location for doing so is all the way in South Africa. This means there are serious obstacles in the way of consumers to actually doing.

We gave journalists, influencers and consumers the opportunity to dive with sharks in a swimming pool, with the aid of a 360-degree camera and the world’s only waterproof VR-headset and self-made underwater 4G-connection through a custom-made buoy to stream the footage under water. At the same time, we established a live video call with a marine-biologist in South Africa, who answered questions from attendees in real-time from on board a cage diving boat.


The phased campaign was deployed in five steps:

1. Consumer engagement was created through a teaser video inviting the Netherlands to dive with sharks. This resulted in over 2000 applications.

2. Over 20 leading influencers, news and tech media got the opportunity to experience the brand claim first-hand in a swimming pool. We enabled them to tell their readers a complete story as they were indulged in a mind-boggling VR experience while breathing through a regulator under water.

3. A 360 video of the shark was distributed to consumers directly, triggering them to take a look at the exciting future via Facebook, play it via their phone or use a VR goggle.

4. A large group of lifestyle media was incorporated in the campaign through native advertising, thereby also reaching those who might have less affinity with technology.

5. The campaign video was spread via social advertising.


Customer research by GfK shows that the mix of free publicity, native advertising and owned social media resulted in a 38% increase in brand consideration, while brand preference increased by 21%. No less than 65% of the consumers in that research connected the campaign to the brand: higher than any other recent Vodafone campaign. The average reading time of the native advertising articles was well above one minute.

Media coverage consisted of 84 publications, with a cumulative reach of almost 36 million impressions.

The social video, with Dutch shark fan Melvin in the lead role, generated over 3 million views.

The aided message recall shows positive numbers as well. Both “Vodafone invites you to discover new technologies” and “Vodafone brings the future closer” – two key messages – are recalled by respectively 44% and 47% of consumers (source: GfK).

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