O2 turns its attention to live experiences in campaign that reminds people it’s not just a mobile network

O2 wants consumers to buy into its plethora of live events and is hoping to raise the profile of the brand’s involvement with live entertainment and heritage in music in a new campaign called Follow the Rabbit.

Appearing around the UK from today (2 March), the campaign features an Alice in Wonderland inspired bright blue rabbit created to represent ‘curiosity’ to encourage consumers to explore live experiences in music, sport and entertainment at O2 venues.

Rather than pushing the idea of consuming more digital content like many network providers, the brand wanted to demonstrate how it can offer something different to its customers.

“Right now the message coming from the telecoms market is focused on dialing up more and more digital consumption: download more content, stare at more screens, stream more and so on,” Darren Bailes, executive creative director at VCCP, which created the campaign, told The Drum. “It feels like we could be headed to some dystopian nightmare. With that as the backdrop VCCP and O2 wanted to demonstrate how we offer our customers something above and beyond the norm in the category.”

To develop the concept, VCCP dug into the behaviour of competitive brands and also looked at how people were living their lives. “We all had stories of great live events we had missed through sheer laziness or bad luck. And we all do it,” added Bailes. After various different creative ideas and presentations the agency landed on the idea of Alice in Wonderland and her inquisitive nature in the way that she couldn't help herself by following the rabbit down the rabbit hole.

“That became our approach – to ask people if they would follow a rabbit. We simplified and simplified [the idea] and got to just a simple blue rabbit in a spotlight. It’s a pretty odd way to start a TV spot but a great motif for the campaign.”

The campaign feeds in to the brand's More for You campaign that launched last June and replaced O2's long running Be More Dog positioning that launched to help consumers to feel confident about new technologies.

O2 has already been teasing the campaign throughout February, with the rabbit encouraging attendees at The BRIT Awards and England v Italy at Twickenham to share their best live pics with #FollowTheRabbit to win tickets to gigs and events.

The campaign includes TV, digital out of home, mobile and experiential – as well as appearing at live events across the country. Social executions include O2’s first Snapchat lens and geo-targeted filters, as well as thousands of tickets to experiences for those who #FollowTheRabbit.

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