Cannes Lions

THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UK'S FIRST MOBILE PHONE CALL

VODAFONE GROUP, London / VODAFONE / 2015

Awards:

1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Presentation Image
Supporting Images
Supporting Images

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Description

CHALLENGE

Devise a creative and emotionally engaging global media campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of the first call on Vodafone's network, in the UK, on 1 January 1985.

Expand the anniversary from its UK-centric origins to generate extensive media coverage and social media traction in Vodafone's major markets.

OBJECTIVES

Spark an engaging, internationally relevant conversation across traditional and social media, underlining Vodafone’s pioneering heritage.

STRATEGY

Creating short, globally shareable films that inspire nostalgia about the origins of mobile technology.

Researching compelling case studies, placing the first caller, first customers and the engineers who built the network at the heart of the campaign.

Acquiring archive materials, including original 1980s mobiles, showcasing these at a media event.

EXECUTION

We hosted an international media event at a Vodafone store, retrofitted to a 1980s theme. Eighties mobiles were displayed with original prices, adjusted for 30 years of inflation.

The media were given access to case studies and we shared a toolkit featuring 1980s adverts/photographs and our films.

A 24-hour media office responded to multiple time zones.

OUTCOME

857 Tier 1 articles

242 million estimated reach, with coverage in 44 countries and 19 Vodafone markets (Meltwater Analytics)

Over 6 million (estimated) views of the films we created through global media coverage, with a further 1.4m views on Vodafone’s own platforms.

81 per cent of consumers surveyed across five markets (Opinion Matters) felt more positively about Vodafone as a result of the campaign and more positively about Vodafone as a mobile technology pioneer.

Execution

The assets, archive materials, original handsets sold by Vodafone from 1985-1989 and case studies were brought together at an international media event on 10 December.

1980s mobile phones were displayed in a 1980’s style shop interior together with original prices adjusted for 30 years of inflation.

Our first customers, original sales team, early engineers and the widow of Vodafone’s first Chairman (who answered Vodafone’s first-ever mobile call) were made available for media interviews on a tightly scheduled one-to-one basis.

Weeks after the anniversary, a last minute opportunity to boost the campaign and film David Hasselhoff arose when the 80s star, famous in multiple Vodafone markets, finished pantomime season in Essex. David agreed to be filmed by Vodafone's in-house photographer and to take part in a wider photocall as he was reunited with K.I.T.T and his first mobile phone on his way to Heathrow.

Outcome

We had an even more limited budget (€70k estimated; €67,833.27 actual) to cover all external fees (including eBay for mobiles, video filming, editing and animation, event management costs and translation costs) required to activate across 14 markets.

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