Mumbrella360: ‘Telco’s not that sexy’ – How Post Malone helped Vodafone become a ‘cool’ brand

Everyone has a favourite song, a favourite artist and or a favourite band. Everyone loves music. And it is music that has helped some of Australia’s biggest brands become cool again.

Appearing at Mumbrella360 last month on the panel – When Fandom Turns into ‘Brandom’ – TPG Telecom’s head of brand, insights and sponsorship, Lisa Cronin, discussed Vodafone’s journey as a notable telco that was able to make a more authentic and deeper connection with its audience.

“Telco’s not that sexy,” Cronin said.

“And what I know our customers love is, as a brand, we over index in our passion for music, our customers passion for music. So for me, I think it’s really all about aligning to your customers passions in our industry, or in our sector, it’s music.”

Cronin said Vodafone teaming up with Live Nation to give the telco’s customers access to presale tickets for huge local and international tours accelerated the brand’s credibility and authenticity quickly.

One such tour was US artist Post Malone who toured the country earlier this year. Cronin shared that some of its Gen Z customers would post TikTok videos bragging that they managed to nab tickets for the Australian shows because they are with Vodafone.

L-R: Kristy Rosser, Lisa Cronin, Maddy Stockwell, Neil Griffiths

“It blows my mind just how… that passion marketing and that point of consideration that we’re all trying to wrestle with is getting us on the shopping list, getting us in an environment where it’s really authentic and we’re not just promoting our products,” she said.

US country artist Chris Stapleton is another act set to tour Australia in 2025 that has been a “huge” success for Vodafone.

“The closer I can get my brand to the artist – Chris Stapleton’s face – that’s where I know that that muscle memory of people being able to consider me when they’re then choosing which mobile provider they want to go with, that is really important,” Cronin added.

The role of influencers in marketing has been hotly debated in recent times, but what can be agreed on is that when working with brands, authenticity between the brand and influencer is key.

And according to Kristy Rosser, Live Nation’s senior vice president, marketing solutions and client services, brands want to work with music because “artists are the ultimate influencers”.

“They always have been. They’re creators, they’re icons. They have huge social followings. They have fandom attached to them. I think they’re able to really shape culture,” she said.

“In this day and age as well, there’s so much dialogue between fans and their audiences online.

“One study we have says, in terms of influence, that friends and family – number one, artists – number two. So, people are really looking to those artists as, as really influential.

To watch this session recording and more from Mumbrella360, head to Mumbrella Pro.


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