118 118 ads take aim at mobile data

118 118 is set to launch a new ad campaign that aims to “explode the myth” that 3G data and smartphones make for a better service.

Video: 118 118 TV ad

An ad launches on TV tonight (13 January) featuring 118 118’s long-standing 70s style moustachioed runner characters. The duo explain how they have “Got Your Back” when 3G network signal is patchy, by allowing consumers to call 118 118 at times of need – such as when they need to obtain a number for a locksmith.

The campaign, which will also feature outdoor, draws on insight from the Ofcom Communications Infrastructure Report which found 66 per cent of the UK has coverage for voice and text services by all mobile networks, whereas only 13 per cent of the country is reached by all 3G data services.

Jean-Michel Maltais, 118 118 global chief marketing officer, said, “Our new TV campaign for 2014 vividly demonstrates the simplicity, speed and service accuracy of calling 118 118. The mobile networks coverage for calls greatly exceeds data availability and performance, so our advertising sets out to inform consumers that when connectivity is a problem, we’ve got their back.”

The ads were created by Watermill, with media buying handled by Zenith Optimedia.

The campaign launches a week after BT, which operates rival directory enquiry service 118 500, was fined £225,000 by premium rate phone line watchdog PhonePayPlus for unfairly dragging out the length of calls to its service – leading to “bill shock” for some customers.

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