O2’s marketing boss on why the time is right to move on from ‘Be more dog’

O2 has overhauled its marketing strategy, getting rid of the popular ‘Be more dog’ campaign in favour of new ‘More for you’ messaging as it looks to reflect the growing demands of consumers who are at the forefront of changes in the mobile industry.

The ‘More for you’ campaign, created by VCCP, breaks on TV today with a spot focused on O2’s ‘Priority’ loyalty programme. It features a man followed round by a gift box, an analogy for the range of deals and offers available to O2 customers. Future ads will focus on different aspects of O2’s service and aim to promote its connectivity, flexibility and its tie-up with the NSPCC to help children stay safe online.

Speaking to Marketing Week, O2’s marketing director Nina Bibby explained that despite the success of ‘Be more dog’, which won a number of awards both for creativity and effectiveness, it was actually a relatively easy decision to move on.

“Be more dog, like many campaigns of its type, was ahead of the curve. It was designed as a rallying cry to get consumers to feel confident about the possibility of technology. Fast forward three years and customers feel confident about using new technology. They don’t need that rallying cry,” she explained.

“It is really important as marketers that as much as we love our work, at the end of the day we have to listen to data and our customers. From that perspective, our customers are moving on. The whole raison d’être [behind Be more dog], customers had caught up with it.”

That isn’t to say O2 is totally discarding ‘Be more dog’. While the campaign message is shifting, O2 is hoping to use what it learnt from the activity in terms of combining broadcast and interactive media to get its message out while at the same time starting a dialogue with customers.

That is why O2 kicked off this campaign at the start of the week with social media activity promoting three films that ask people what the ‘new normal looks like’. The films look at different aspects of people’s lives that mobile phones have impacted on, from love to manners, in order to get people to take a step back and question the roles phones play. Interactive quizzes will allow people to see how their mobile phone use compares to others across the country.

For the first time, O2 will also focus on targeted, contextual and localised executions to push 20 different propositions across TV, outdoor, digital and social. And all its stores will be transformed over the next week to have “much more impact” and push the brand promise ‘More for you’.

Bibby explained that pushing that promise is key. The ‘more’ part aims to communicate the perks and service customers get on the network while ‘for you’ aims to make the emotional connection and highlight how important the customer is.

O2 hopes this campaign can be as successful as ‘Be more dog’, driving brand measures, customer numbers and explaining the O2 brand and its individual propositions clearly to consumers. The aim is for it to become a long-term marketing platform for the brand.

“This is more than a campaign, it’s a platform. I want it to wrap its arms around everything we do and enable us to communicate all the different things we do in a clear, compelling and relevant way,” said Bibby.