O2 brand campaign to trumpet new strategy

O2 is to implement a new business approach designed to champion innovation and which includes a brand campaign that will convey its “Fresh thinking, new possibilities” mindset to consumers.


The new mantra, created by O2’s marketing department, will be underpinned by a refreshed brand strategy, which will move the focus of O2’s marketing away from handsets and tariffs to other areas of its business, such as money, ticketing and charity initiatives.

Sally Cowdry, O2’s marketing and consumer director, says the new way of thinking has been endorsed by the board, so every division must now ensure every business process has “Fresh thinking, new possibilities” at its core.

“This isn’t just about a marketing campaign, it’s about a galvanising change in attitude and culture across the entire business; a common lens through which everything in the business can be assessed,” she says.

A multimillion pound multimedia brand campaign will launch later this month. The campaign’s soundtrack, a cover of the 1960s protest song Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds, aims to convey the new mindset and communicate to consumers that O2 is not restricted to the stereotype “box” of a traditional operator.

“In our market, we believe everyone blurs into one. We want to stand out from the crowd and open up the possibilities of what we can do for money, ticketing, shopping, your community and communicate we are enabling change by unlocking technology,” Cowdry says.

O2 says the campaign will be its “most interactive ever” and will include several marketing and media “firsts”.

These include a voice-activated brand website, the wide use of augmented reality in posters and press ads and “sound showers” – an outdoor advertising format where consumers can be targeted with audio only they can hear.

Cowdry says the timing of the new approach, while coincidental to the tenth anniversary of BT Cellnet rebranding to O2, is more about “cutting through the greyness” of the “tough” macro economic environment and the operator market by being optimistic and looking towards the future.

O2 is the largest mobile operator in the UK, with a 25.6% share of the market, according to comScore data for January. It is ahead of Vodafone (20.2%) and Orange, which has a 19.7% share.

10 years of O2

BT Cellnet rebrands as O2.

O2 sponsors Arsenal Football club, a partnership still active today.

O2 acquired by Telefónica.

O2 rebrands the Millennium Dome in London as the O2 Arena entertainment venue.

O2 signs deal with Apple to become the exclusive operator to sell the iPhone for a short period after launch, boosting subscriber numbers.

O2 launches healthcare division.

O2 details plans to launch a “mobile wallet” application.

July 2011
O2 launches loyalty scheme Priority Moments.

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