We've been speaking to Vodafone UK's Brand Director Daryl Fielding to find out the story behind our new TV ad 'The Call', and why things are changing...

the call

Things are changing at Vodafone. We’re investing a huge amount in strengthening our network to enable you to make the most out of your mobile, and now we’re starting to change the way we talk about our network too.

 

VF-first-phone-call30 years of Vodafone
Vodafone is 30! Saturday 22 March 2014 marks three decades since the Vodafone name was officially launched. Read on for a trip down memory lane…
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The first part of this process is an overhaul of the adverts you’ll see from us, to put more focus on the ways in which our customers are using our network and what it means to them. A brand new TV ad, featuring real firefighters who use Vodafone every day, will kick things off tonight, but that’s just the start of an exciting journey.

To find out more about what’s driving our new focus, and how you’re our main inspiration, we’ve been speaking to Daryl Fielding, Vodafone UK’s Brand Director…

The changing face of networks

Daryl Fielding

“The uptake of smartphones has been a game-changer in the lives of our customers,” Daryl says. “We know how much more enabled customers are by using this technology, and how people are now taking it more seriously. Our customers are much more empowered – they’re able to do more, see more and achieve more. Mobile’s moved from a luxury or convenience to something that’s essential to the lives we now lead and the way in which we all work.

“We use it to connect, consume, entertain, educate, and organise, and we need to know it’s there in times of emergency. It’s become so central to our lives and embedded in who we are that people tell us they’d rather lose their house keys than their mobile phone.”

Daryl explains that all this means it’s time to reflect that in the way we at Vodafone communicate with our customers:

“People are much more dependent on us. As people’s relationship with their network evolves,” she says, “we need to keep up with that.”

Serious business

So how do we keep up? By being different and standing out from the ‘viral video’ crowd:

“In general, an awful lot of companies copy the competition,” Daryl says. “What we need to do is be ourselves. As Coco Chanel once said: ‘in order to be irreplaceable one must always be different’. We’re the company that made the first mobile call in the UK, and we’re the only company in that space that still has the name it began with.” In fact, we’ve just celebrated that fact that it’s 30 years since the Vodafone name was first announced.

“Many aspects of our customers’ lives, at work or at home, revolve around having a dependable network.”

“Many aspects of our customers’ lives, at work or at home, revolve around having a dependable network,” she explains, “so it’s entirely appropriate that we make the stand to ensure the network category is taken seriously.

“I think what people are more interested in knowing is that there’s a company behind their network that they can count on.

“One of strength and substance, and one that’s dependable: some of our future ads may have a lightness of touch, but this is not a subject to be trivialised.”

“The network is an incredibly complex entity,” adds Daryl, “and one that needs to constantly adapt to our consumers’ needs and demands. This takes time, and we might not always get everything right, but we’re investing millions of pounds every day in the right areas – from 4G spectrum through to our 2G and 3G upgrade plans.”

Serving the services

The first of our new ad campaigns launches tonight, and you can see it right here. It stars the real life firefighters that use Vodafone every day, and you can see some exclusive behind-the-scenes footage below:

As both videos reveal, Vodafone is ingrained in some of the UK’s most important services, which is something Daryl’s keen to explore:

“Our first new commercial is very much about the importance of connectivity,” she tells us. “In fact, Vodafone supports 77% of the emergency services* in one way or another across quite a diverse range of solutions.

“In that respect, people should be confident in us; Vodafone is a strong network. Other campaigns we used in the past have been very successful at communicating individual offers over time, but what we need to do now is make each ad, each poster and the pages on our website help us tell stories. We have amazing stories at Vodafone, we do amazing things, but we’ve never focused on them in this way before.”

What do you think of the new advert? Do you have an amazing Vodafone story to tell? Let us know in the comments section below.

*Source: Actual Vodafone billed revenue, compared against market data from Kable 02/2014.

77% of the emergency services are using Vodafone across a range of fixed or mobile communications, unified communications or business solutions. To substantiate this claim, we worked with Kable (Business Intelligence Limited), an external organisation specialising in the public sector, who provided information on all emergency services in the UK, which encompasses the fire services, police forces and ambulance services.  This was then cross matched against all accounts we held in the UK and actual billed revenue to Vodafone as of February 2014. In respect of defining Emergency Services, we have sought to refer to the various statutory definitions of the forces. For example, for the police we have looked at the Police Act 1996, Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and Crime and Courts Act 2013 amongst many others.