3 plans overhaul of ‘quirky’ image

Mobile phone operator 3 is rethinking its quirky brand advertising campaigns because it wants to make its proposition more “tangible”.

Sources say the company, which is owned by Hutchison Whampoa, has begun an internal review of its advertising strategy.

The high-profile and much-talked about campaigns have included dancing jellyfish, singing cherries and milkmaids, establishing 3 as a young, fun network.

The activity has also helped raise brand awareness – and the company, whose launch in March 2003 was plagued by problems, now has more than 3 million customers in the UK.

But sources say senior executives have decided it is time to move on to phase two of the campaign, and the next ads are set to have a different look. A 3 spokesman says: “We are always looking at new executions.” It is believed the review will not affect WCRS’s grip on 3’s &£39m advertising account.

Gareth Jones, 3’s chief operating officer and one of the senior executives credited with the network’s revival, left the company at the end of last year without a job to go to.

Jones was one of the team that launched Orange. He was drafted in by chief executive Bob Fuller in May 2003. The pair moved the company’s advertising out of TBWA/ London and into WCRS and embarked on a strategy of undercutting rivals on calls in order to sell more handsets.

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