Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Monday, July 07, 2008

Commercial: Everyone's better connected together

Time was, as a brand consultant, I'd try to advise clients to create as much blue water between themselves and their competitors as possible. While a position might be *right* for them on the brand spectrum, did make sense to muscle in to it while it was well occupied by someone else? Surely the big communications guns would make sense deployed elsewhere?

Well, fair play to Orange to utterly ignoring that advice and going after O2 with a new slogan - 'Together we can do more' - which the eagle eyed amongst you will see is not too far away from O2's recently unveiled 'We're better, connected'.

Orange have surrounded this with a far more verbally intriguing idea: that of 'I am everyone', which does show how these connections can add up:

I am who I am because of everyone.
I am my mate who never speaks and the one who won't shut up. I am my older sister and unfortunately my younger brother. I am all the girls I've kissed and all the ones I will.


which works better at illustrating the concept than more visually-led O2 execution does.

But still: If I was brand director at 3, I'd be looking to see if the aliens/squid/jellyfish could get another roll out. Sod connecting togetherness - what about the sheer unhinged joyous lunacy that technology can bring? There's a distinctive positioning that's not been taken yet.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Paul Campy said...

Have to admit that, as a consumer rather than brand expert, I completely switched off Orange a couple of years ago. In the early 2000s, the brand really connected with me - bold, unfussy, unconventional, sophisticated.

Then I guess France Telecom came along, stripped out a lot of the services that had always made Orange distinctive and started coming up with animals to describe their phone packages. At that point I thought they'd disappeared up their own proverbial.

Wonder whether this will see a return to better form?

12:36 pm  
Blogger Rish said...

Spot on Paul about the impact re France Telecom - it is, from what one can judge on the outside, quite a risk averse culture.

Hence why 'bold, unfussy, unconventional, sophisticated' aren't words that readily come to mind when thinking about Orange.

There have been some great comms from Orange recently: The Balloon race, the endless page, Spot the bull. But it's notable that these are interactive rather than bigger, traditional brand building spots. Mainly because, arguably, the brand hasn't had that much to say.

The irony is that I do think that some of the language in 'I am everyone' is sophisticated, bold and unconventional. It's just that it doesn't look that way when it's hard up against its competitors.

When everyone's zigging, you really should zag...

12:42 pm  

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