O2 enters 4G fray by encouraging UK to ‘be more dog’

O2 is rolling out a multi-million pound marketing campaign tapping in to the UK’s love of animals as part of a “refresh” and “new approach” for the brand, which it hopes will show a lighter, more enthusiastic side of the company ahead of its 4G launch.


The “Be More Dog” campaign aims to promote a more “playful, enthusiastic and optimistic attitude” among O2’s staff and customers as it looks to highlight the possibilities of its technology that it says encourages customers to “live more, do more and be more”. It acts as a build up to the launch of the company’s 4G network, which is due to be switched on for customers later this summer.

A TV ad, created by VCCP, depicts a particularly apathetic cat who yearns to be a dog. The cat chases sticks, jumps into a lake and sticks its head out of a car window before the voiceover states the strapline “Be More Dog”.

Viewers are then pointed towards a BeMoreDog website and the hashtag #bemoredog. 

O2’s social media activity will reward those with “dog-like attitudes” and encourage others to be more adventurous as part of the campaign’s bid to encourage optimism and exploration. Across YouTube, O2 will “Dog Bomb” videos that feature cat-like behaviour with short clips featuring both of the animals.

The website will feature a dual-screen game, allowing visitors to use their mobile as a control to throw a Frisbee from their phone to a cat on the screen and also the chance to create their own “Dog Bombs”.

Activity will be supported in-store, outdoor and with internal staff events. ZenithOptimedia handled media buying.

Gary Booker, O2 acting marketing and consumer director, says while consumers are currently living in the most exciting of technology eras, they can sometimes become a little “jaded” by all the possibilities.

He adds: “Be more dog is all about encouraging Britain to embrace the new, have a go with the unknown and dabble in innovation. We’ve just launched O2 Refresh which lets our customers get their hands on the latest technology, whenever it’s released. We’re also gearing up for our 4G launch later this summer, so it’s the perfect time to get the nation trying more and being a little bit more dog.”

The last time O2 implemented a brand refresh was in March 2012, when the company looked to champion its “Fresh thinking, new possibilities” company mindset to consumers. The refresh was led by former marketing and consumer director Sally Cowdry who left the company to join Camelot earlier this year. She is being replaced by former Barclaycard marketer Nina Bibby in November.

The new fun, animal-based approach from O2 follows rival Three Mobile’s dancing pony brand campaign, which launched in March and looked to tap in on the “silly stuff” consumers like to share online. 

While the campaign amassed millions of YouTube hits and sparked many online conversations, the activity did not appear to have significantly turned the dial on its brand metrics a month after its launch, according to Marketing Week’s brand audit using YouGov data

Meanwhile, EE is gearing up for its latest advertising campaign as it continues to take advantage of launching its 4G network ahead of rivals. The new ads will star TV chef Jamie Oliver alongside existing brand ambassador Kevin Bacon.

Yesterday (3 July), EE launched a range of 4G promotions and services, directly targeting customers of rival networks.