Vodafone UK has always been a brand stuck in the mud. It’s not an advertiser that you’d associate with taking risks, and that’s probably because there isn’t a need for the telecoms giant to venture into uncharted territory.
It’s therefore a refreshing change to see a new campaign that attempts to inject some fun and personality into the brand. This new 60″ spot, promoting Vodafone’s 4G network and Spotify Premium partnership, features old folk singing and dancing along to some recent chart toppers.
If you were to ask a UK consumer what they think about Vodafone, you’re likely to hear words like “boring” and “old” mixed in with the odd statement about network coverage. It isn’t a brand that stands for an awful lot. Now Vodafone seems to be testing the waters with a humorous creative home to a human touch that sparks a genuine emotional response. Some commentators have described the advert as being condescending towards pensioners – I disagree and think instead that it’s quite empowering.
Elsewhere in Europe, Vodafone doesn’t lug around the burden of being the safe and vacuous brand with little personality. Take Vodafone Czech Republic for example. Its divisive Christmas campaign in 2011 featured dancing CGI rabbits holding Easter Eggs, along with the tagline “We give you mobile internet, so you can be one step ahead too”. It wass a strange but brave and daring approach; one which gave Vodafone Czech Republic an opportunity to really stamp its authority in a crowded market and emerge with some much needed identity.
So why is this new creative significant? Vodafone UK’s latest effort is by no means perfect, but it will hopefully serve as a shot in the arm that could energise the brand moving forwards. The accompanying creative in this campaign that promotes Vodafone’s Sky Sports Mobile partnership is equally as engaging, memorable and smirk-inducing. Fingers crossed that they can both finally provide a reason to throw any upcoming creatives with talking ‘Free Bees’ or contrived Yoda linkages onto the bonfire and push Vodafone down a fresher creative route.