Cannes Lions

REDEFINING THE CRASH TEST VIDEO

KETCHUM PUBLICO, Vienna / A1 TELEKOM AUSTRIA / 2013

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Overview

Description

There are thousands on YouTube crash test videos. These gadget durability tests usually follow a script of smashing tablets on concrete and dunking smartphones in water. Last spring, Austria’s leading communication provider, A1, turned the script over to consumers and redefined the genre.

A1 was launching the Sony Xperia go, a rugged smartphone for which A1 would be the exclusive Austrian carrier – but only for two weeks. How could A1 make active young Austrians believe this was finally the phone and the carrier they could take anywhere?

The answer: a crash test video with the bright A1 screen serving as proof the phone survived. To maximize authenticity, the A1 Sony Xperia go Outdoor Challenge solicited 800 test ideas from Facebook fans, who then voted for the top five. The resulting video featured two guys skimming phones across a pool, playing soccer with one, packing one in an ice cream sandwich, and blasting one with a firehouse. And the team ensured the video went viral, teasing social media fans and journalists across Austria and beyond.

An instant sensation, the video now has over a million views – far outpacing any other A1 video and almost all other crash test videos. What’s more, A1 sold almost twice as many devices as forecast. Today if you’re in the market for the Sony Xperia go in Austria, you’re still likely to buy the A1 version, since the video still ranks number one in any search for Sony Xperia go.

Execution

Two months before product launch, we asked the A1 community what tests the Sony Xperia go should endure. Facebook voting whittled 800 ideas to five winners that became our video script. We skipped the phone like a stone across a swimming pool; strapped it to a soccer ball and played a game; sent it hurling down a waterslide, wedged it into an ice cream sandwich, and pummeled it with the full force of a fire department hose. By mid June, the video was in production, and the A1 logo was heroically flashing as proof the phone survived extreme test after test. By late June we were blogging behind-the-scenes video production details, giving top journalists test phones along with flip flops and other outdoor gear reminiscent of our video – and even reaching out to international tech bloggers with video teasers. On July 9, just as the phone became available, we posted the video on A1’s YouTube site.

Outcome

The A1 Sony Xperia go Outdoor Challenge became the most “viral” video ever produced by A1 -- or by any Austrian Telecom Provider. It’s been viewed more than 1.03m times as of February 2013. (In comparison, the official Austrian Sony Xperia go YouTube video received only 12,000 views.) At least one other Sony provider (in Africa) produced a video replicating our script, while a video from Thailand included segments from our video, helping it generate 87,000 views.

For A1, the results are A+. The carrier sold almost twice as many devices as forecast. And today if you’re in the market for the Sony Xperia go in Austria, you’re still likely to buy the A1 version, since the video still ranks #1 in any search for Sony Xperia go.

Finally, active young Austrians have a phone that will go anywhere along with a carrier that’s just as rugged and reliable.

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