Cannes Lions



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The creative idea was deceptively simple: create the ‘alternative Royal wedding’, the one the British public wished would happen, borrowing from the infamous JK wedding dance video, using Royal look-a-likes and launch it on-line two weeks before the real one took place.By keeping its finger on the national cultural pulse, T-Mobile’s on-line Royal Wedding spoof stemmed a sales decline, delivered a ROMI of £6.05 (Holmes & Cook Econometric modelling 2011 – see Appendix), making it the second most effective campaign T-Mobile has ever run. Moreover, it became the fourth most shared video of 2011, generating an estimated £1.6m additional media with a PR ROMI of 1:20 (Source: T-Mobile), and galvanised both staff and customers. Not bad for a viral campaign that was conceived and aired in just four weeks, with minimal budget and without using paid-for media (Total production budget was £180k. Seeded media costs were £130k).

To understand how and why this happened, we need to go back to autumn 2010, when T-Mobile’s last big advertising film, ‘Welcome Home’ aired. This, along with previous ‘event’ films created strong moments of emotional connection which helped to fuel sales activity. In previous years, this would have been followed up with another burst in the first few months of the year, to help boost Pay-Monthly acquisitions (Pay Monthly Acquisitions are a crucial driver of revenue). However, the merger between Orange and T-Mobile meant communications emphasis was on announcing the benefits of the merged networks’ increased coverage. Whilst this message would drive long term brand consideration, we needed something to drive brand consideration in the short term.Strong competitor activity meant sales were in decline and it was imperative that we address this. The first half of the year is a key time to drive revenue through Pay Monthly (PAYM) customers (it takes most of the year to pay-back). By early March, with no specific PAYM activity planned until June 2011 and a sales-force needing support, it was clear that we needed to do something to help create brand-buzz quickly. With marketing budget being spent on the network sharing message, no new product news, and with timing of the essence we decided that we needed to be more radical and create something so compelling that we would make people actively engage and more importantly, share... By seizing the moment, and leveraging two cultural phenomena, the forthcoming Royal wedding, and one of the most viewed videos of recent times (JK Wedding Dance), we created an affectionate, contemporary spoof which was culturally relevant, emotionally engaging and commercially highly successful.

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