T-Mobile sees low key advert reap rewards

26 Oct
2011

What adverts to you remember from your childhood?

For me the answer is littered with ads that no-one bothered to record for posterity. You know, the one that went “Hey Crusader, have you any nuts? I’ve got mixed nuts and raisins and salted cashews…” No? OK, how about the Carlsberg short ads where the guy is playing cards and bumps his head on the light. Guess not. In fact, it seems like the only ones that have been preserved were done so by keen amateurs who recorded TV shows in the 80s on their Betamax VCRs and took the effort to convert the adverts in the middle to digital format and uploaded them to YouTube.

Take the Kiora advert or the Milk Ian Rush advert for example: that is the best quality we get for ads that are part of our cultural heritage. Why have we collectively decided that Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion shall be preserved in full HD, but adverts that we enjoy and quote are lost forever? Aren’t the adverts not as relevant to cultural historians as the TV shows which they sandwich?

That’s why I am glad that agencies are using social media to prolong their TV campaigns, to extend their reach so that users can access adverts whenever they wish, and even find out more about the advert in the process. Take the current T-Mobile ‘Traffic Warden’ advert.

The Traffic Warden advert has reaped rewards, as it recently won the People’s choice award for UTalkMarketing, where 21% of those questioned chose it as the answer to “Which of the adverts made you want to buy the product or service advertised?

The agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, have created a nice little concept, encapsulating the ‘unexpected surprise’ perfectly, just as they perfectly captured the “life’s for sharing” concept with the “Royal Wedding House of Love“, “Welcome Back” and “The Dance“. It may be more low key than the three previous campaigns, but that’s because it isn’t promoting the brand as a whole, but a constituent part of it. What I like about the current advert is not just the idea, the execution and the way it is a continuation of the brand’s televisual ethos, but also the social web that is used to enhance the campaign.

T-Mobile have their own YouTube channel, on which they host all of the recent adverts. This channel has had over 87 million views.That’s four times the viewers of Coronation Street on its best ever night in 1987. But this is much, much better for T-Mobile, as every single viewer to that channel has chosen to be there. They have chosen to watch your video. The  26,000+ subscribers will watch any video they put out.

They could be resting on their laurels here, but what they have realised is that people engage more when you give them something extra. Like the Traffic Warden advert, then watch the making of the advert:

I wish this involvement could have been around when I was younger. I would have loved to see a making of the MacDonald’s “Fillet of Fish for my wife”. In fact, I would love just to see that ad again, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. For now, let’s just be thankful that T-Mobile et al are preserving adverts
and enhancing the user experience for us all.

Disclaimer: I have been paid to write this article, but all thoughts and words are mine. I have been given complete freedom to say what I want, just as you have the choice of whether or not to watch any of the adverts or subscribe to T-Mobile.

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