BT Cellnet starts 10m brand launch

Cellnet, the mobile phone network part-owned by BT, is putting 10m behind its first advertising campaign under its new brand name BT Cellnet next month.

By highlighting BT and Cellnet’s association – BT owns 60 per cent and wishes to buy Securicor’s 40 per cent – the companies hope Cellnet will acquire the status and trust of the BT brand heritage and BT the mobility and youthfulness of the Cellnet brand. The name change will take effect from May 4. An estimated 1,500 new recruits – mainly in customer service, technology and marketing – will be employed by the company over the next year.

The TV, press and poster advertising campaign, through Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO, breaks on May 17 and follows the first phase of BT’s “ET” advertising campaign. The BT Cellnet ad consists of modern designs with short, witty headlines describing mobile solutions.

One ad has the headline “Do not disturb” over a closed eye with a sub-heading “short message service”. Another has the headline “You chatterbox” over a close-up of a toucan and the sub-heading “100 free minutes”.

The campaign will aim to differentiate BT Cellnet from its three rivals. Orange and One-2-One have created strong brands through advertising and Vodafone is the world’s largest mobile phone player following its 37bn deal with AirTouch of the US.

BT and Cellnet plan to offer compatible multimedia services under BT Cellnet, one of the first being the One Phone, which acts as a mobile phone outside and a cordless phone inside (MW April 24 1998).

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