How could British multinational telecommunications company Vodafone stand out in a crowded telecommunications marketplace -- and win over Turkey’s most important market for mobile? At the heart of FreeZone, Vodafone’s new youth sub-brand, was a high-impact social media component involving mobile gaming to drive awareness, generate publicity and position FreeZone as a dominant force in the telecom marketplace for young adults ages 15-24.
The telecommunications sector in Turkey has three key players. Turkcell is first in the market and has the Gnctrkcll youth sub-brand, Avea has the Woops youth sub-brand and Vodafone has FreeZone. Woops has been offering aggressive tariffs to rapidly gain market share and build brand awareness, whereas Gnctrkcll and FreeZone are trying to strengthen their brand pyramid by creating loyalty through engagement.
The FreeZone campaign objective was to create engagement with the Vodafone brand through current song. Vodafone targeted youth ages 15-24 as the core of the campaign. This demographic tends to ignore standard formats and skip video ads. They have high smartphone penetration and spend most of their time online, which makes digital the medium that gets most of their attention. While capturing the attention of millennials is getting harder each day, keeping this demographic happy is the key to future profits in Turkey’s competitive telecommunications market.
Online video services such as YouTube or local options are the go-to entertainment choice for this young demographic. For this reason, Vodafone decided to partner with izlesene.com, Turkey’s most visited local video platform, to develop a mini-game users could play on the brand profile page.
Previous efforts to create engagement around songs via events and online singing contests had not worked. Events were limited to the venue, and online singing contests didn’t deliver the expected impact because of their reliance on user-generated content. With these thoughts in mind, Vodafone decided to build the experience so any user could it enjoy anywhere.
Vodafone used mobile-enhanced dual-screen video to capture the attention of the millennial audience. Using this technology for the first time in Turkey returned a greater-than-average clickthrough rate on banners used to promote the game and resulted in four minutes of engagement per user on average. Other media channels focused on making people aware of the campaign message.
The overall campaign budget was under $25,000: 20 percent for development and creative services, 40 percent for desktop display, and the remaining 40 percent for mobile display to promote the game.
Below are the results of the campaign: