EE launches most personalised campaign yet but pauses YouTube spend amid Google crackdown

EE is launching what it calls its most “personalised campaign to date” to trumpet the breadth of its 4G coverage. But the message won’t be as prevalent on YouTube while concerns about ad misplacement on the platform are still prevalent.

Localised photography and messaging, tweaked for different regions across the country, form the backbone of a campaign that will span 129 regional stores and 21,000 potential message combinations for direct to consumer communications. Much like previous campaigns, Hollywood star Kevin Bacon will star but this time he is joined by Googlebox and I’m A Celebrity personality Scarlett Moffatt.

Both appear in a Saatchi & Saatchi-created TV ad that follows Bacon as he travels the country with Ed the engineer to bring 4G to the nation, whether they’re at a festival, in a camper van by the sea or on a snowy mountain peak. On their travels they meet reality TV star Moffatt, who uses her newly-enabled 4G connection to order food from Just Eat.

It’s all in aid of promoting that EE has 4G in more places than any other UK network, with the telecommunications firm tagging promotions with the strapline ‘We Go Further’. The brand has set 2020 as the deadline for when it wants to cover 95% of the UK with 4G, going so far as to switch on its network 2,800 feet above sea level on Glencoe mountain in Scotland earlier this month.

Viewers can get their first peak at the ad on TV tomorrow, when it will run during ITV show Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, which also stars Moffatt. For those that would rather watch Snapchat, a selection of seven second edits, created especially for the app, will appear.

The decision was made after Snapchat became the most popular social network on its network for the first time at the end of last year.

EE is also banking on the buzz around the new Samsung Galaxy S8, for which it will offer WiFi Calling and 4G Calling alongside a range of additional features for those customers who purchase it from the operator. Samsung debuted its much-anticipated product yesterday (30 March) to rave reviews, alongside a marketing campaign it hopes will moves the brand away from the reputational risk caused by the widely-reported debacle of the Note 7.

Max Taylor, managing director of marketing at EE, said: “Our customers tell us loud and clear that they want 4G coverage wherever they go, so we’re building our network to give them blisteringly fast gigabit speeds in UK cities and superfast 4G in even the most remote places. Following our successful campaigns on network speed, we are evolving our core messaging to focus on helping our customers to do all the things they love over 4G, wherever they are.

"Whether streaming video from a camping holiday or using Facebook Live at a music festival, it is sometimes the more remote places where our customers rely on a good 4G signal the most. We are on a mission to cover 95% of the UK landmass with 4G by 2020, rolling out our network to the furthest corners of Britain to ensure our customers get the fastest speeds no matter where they go.”

One place the EE brand will have a limited presence is on YouTube. Amid industry-wide concerns over ad misplacement on the channel, the mobile phone business is currently not advertising on the video site while it works with Google and its media agency Maxus to put in place the right safeguards. However, EE will still post content to YouTube and so the new ad can be viewed from its YouTube channel.

EE isn’t the only brand reconsidering where its ads are placed on the site; Warner Bros, British Gas, Havas, L’Oreal and more paused ad spend on the channel in the wake of a second report from The Times that found their ads had appeared against inappropriate content just weeks after an initial investigation first brought the issue to light.

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