Vodafone: Red Light App Launch


Client: Vodafone
Product: Red Light app
Category: Telecommunications
Agency: Mindshare
Country: Turkey
Year: 2015


Campaign Summary

Acts of violence against women were steadily increasing in Turkey, making this a serious issue to be addressed. British multinational telecommunications company Vodafone developed an app, Vodafone Red Light, that was disguised as a flashlight, which enabled women to inform officials or other trusted persons in cases of possible impending danger, preventing acts of violence. Once a user's phone is shaken, it sends emergency messages with GPS coordinates to three predefined people.

The campaign to build awareness for the app, called "Between Us," also provided information and resources that can help educate women about the problem of violence and possible solutions. "Between Us" ran on Hürriyet Social, the social media platform of Turkey’s most popular news site, and also provided personalized news and articles to women – and women only – who were or could be victims of domestic violence.

Objective and Context

The main objective of the campaign was to increase Vodafone’s user base to help women in Turkey who might be victims of violence. The campaign targeted women in Turkey with access to smartphones since violence against women doesn’t involve a specific demographic group.

Since the Vodafone’s "Between Us" campaign and Red Light app aimed to reach women in Turkey who faced domestic violence, Vodafone did not communicate information about the app or the campaign to men. Vodafone wanted to encourage women to download and use Vodafone’s Red Light (Kırmızı ışık), while keeping the app’s existence a secret from men.


Creative Strategy

To spread the message among women, Vodafone decided to use the Hürriyet Social platform, which is a personalized news service that offers articles and content to subscribers based on their user data and interests. Users activated their account by registering through their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Vodafone’s new Red Light app was promoted via discrete and tactical vehicles. Through exact targeting, Vodafone was able to protect the app’s “hidden” function. Since the subject was so delicate, Vodafone didn’t use standard display or any other format, making native advertising the ideal format; Hürriyet Social allows users to see only the content related to their interests.

Through Hürriyet Social, users also choose columnists they want to follow, see all of the content these columnists share and have access to special articles that columnists prepare specially for Hürriyet Social during the day. Using this feature, Vodafone directly reached the women who follow columnist and feminist activist Melis Alphan, offering an article written by her on the topic of domestic violence and the usability of Vodafone Red Light app. This specially prepared article was published on Hürriyet, targeting only logged-in women users with a non-sharable pop-up format in order to prevent men from reading the article.

In total, 42 percent of Hürriyet Social users come from mobile, and with mobile being the most private medium, it was the perfect vehicle to spread the message to women and women only. In total, 38 percent of the budget went to mobile execution. Using both web and mobile platforms spread the message about violence against women to women throughout Turkey.


Below are the results of the campaign:

  • Hürriyet Social had 110,000 women visitors over one week in March. The column was read by 90,000 of those visitors, reaching over 80 percent.
  • Average time spent viewing the column was two minutes and forty seconds, 20 percent above the average visit duration.
  • Download numbers for Vodafone Red Light have grown steadily at 500 daily on average, totaling over 240,000 after the first year of release.
  • Since the app is a secret, there were no observed effects on the market. However, the Vodafone Red Light app gained momentum after the execution and sustained average download figures of 5,000 daily even after the campaign ended.



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