Vodafone turns to ‘kidults’ to relaunch its brand

A week after unveiling ‘the New Vodafone’ the telco has released a new television commercial built around the idea of reengaging consumers through connecting with their inner child.

The ‘Discover the new’ campaign, created by Ogilvy Sydney, features digitally created ‘kidult’ characters who according to the brand “are adults who embrace their inner child.”

Jana Kotatko, general manager brand and communications at Vodafone, said the campaign was built around the idea of reconnecting with consumers after a number of troubled years, which have seen the brand lose 1.5 million customers since 2011.

“In essence we are seeking reappraisal of the brand,” said Kotatko. “We can see from what our customers are saying in sentiment they are happy customers. We have improved the quality of the network and the service but that has not yet translated into a perception shift amongst non customers.”

“This idea of an inner child is grounded in a real insight about our customers and their mindset. When we look at our customers from a number of years ago, the attitude was different to that of a Telstra customer, and not just their attitude to technology but life.”

Vodfone2Vodafone1The new TV commercial shows the ‘kidults’ in a variety of scenarios having fun and rediscovering their youth in part though their use of Vodafone services.

Kotatko said Vodafone’s relaunch and ‘Discover the new’ campaign had come about after extensive planning and was put in place after a significant investment in improving the network’s coverage.

“We’ve had our head down building a new network, built pretty much from scratch, rebuilt it. Launched 4G, doubled the size of the Tassie call centre to offer more service and great propositions which we launched a few weeks ago,” she said.

“This is a very new business and the brief for Oglivy was we need to relaunch a new business, using those things as substantiators and pillars. We did not just want to relaunch it to land those rational messages we need to emotionally reconnect with Australian consumers.”

Steve Back, Ogilvy’s chief creative officer, said they didn’t want to tackle the brief solely from a value based proposition.

“As a single piece of communication this is going to get people talking,” said Black.

“We wanted to pitch it counter to a lot of what the other carriers are doing in the category, which is quite value based stuff and pitch it a bit higher — emotionally —  and capture the feeling you get being involved in and around the brand,” he said.

“We wanted to show what it can enable you to feel like releasing your inner child and giving you a sense of what is out there and that feeling that you get when you are exploring, wading through the net etc.”

Coveage FasterIn the coming weeks Vodafone will launch more television commercials featuring the ‘kidults’. It will also launch outdoor, online and activations promoting its other brand messages around it 4G data speeds and its improved coverage.

The company will also be pushing it international roaming offer where it caps international roaming charges $5 a day to the US, UK, and New Zealand. 

Vodafone says it is wanting to reengage consumers with the ‘Discover the new’ campaign and says it will carry the idea through its marketing for the short to medium term.

“Discover the new is a double meaning. For this announcement phase we are asking people to reappraise us and we relaunching a new Vodafone. So discover a new Vodafone but before that discover the new has a lifespan beyond the relaunch phase,” said Kotatko.

“Our customers are an experience hungry, life loving, liberally minded group. So this idea of being able to tap into the youthful mindset is just a really lovely creative mindset.”

The company also dismissed the idea that the ‘kidult’ focus would only appeal to a younger audience.

“Our demographic median age is now in the early 40s, and we’ve still got lots of 30-40s, it’s not just the 20-somethings. Possibly that’s the ones who have grown up with us, but the thing they have in common is not their age, it’s actually their mindset, and that’s the important thing we are trying to land with this,” said Kotatko.

“We are privileged to put smart phones and tablets in the hands of consumers. This is amazing technology and it has the capacity to enable discovery, self discovery and expression — it is not just a communications device it is the window to the world. In that context ‘Discover the new’ then becomes a very big idea.”

Nic Christensen 


Kim Clarke – Chief Marketing Officer
Jana Kotatko – General Manager, Brand & Marketing Communications
Rachael Butler – Head of Brand & Creative Strategy
Shawn Marsh – Head of Campaigns & Media
Nadine Cran – Senior Campaign Manager
Lisa Van Ross – Senior Campaign Manager
Rob Morrison –  Head of Creative, Vodafone

STW Group
Fleur Marks – STW Group Business Director, Vodafone
Ogilvy Sydney
Nathan Quailey – General Manager
Steve Back – Chief Creative Officer
Graham Johnson – Senior Art Director
Oliver Devaris – Senior Copywriter
Mark Sareff – National Head of Strategy
Gerry Cyron – Head of Brand Strategy
Katie Dally – Group Account Director
Rachael Allen – Account Director
Gemma Troup – Account Manager
Gabe Hammond – Producer, One20

Curious Film
Director : Ash Bolland
Executive Producer : Pete Grasse
Producer : Tara Riddell

The Editors
Editor: Bernard Garry, ASE
Editor: Daniel Lee
Editorial Producer: Nicoletta Rousianos Alt.vfx
VFX Supervisor: Jesse Bradstreet
2D Supervisor: Matt Chance
Lead Flame Artist: Urs Fur


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