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How Vodafone UK used a Twitter-Google mash-up

How Vodafone UK used a Twitter-Google mash-up

To highlight the abolition of Vodafone UK’s roaming charges, Shine delivered an interactive map that lived and breathed in the social media arena to drive consumer engagement and awareness. The UK campaign was so successful, Vodafone replicated the idea in other countries across Europe and 120%.

Campaign Details

1. Objectives

To educate the consumer on the three month Roaming and International Roaming price change and position Vodafone UK as an innovator in communications and social media

Vodafone UK research shows that digital and social media is an increasingly effective way to engage with the consumer. To highlight their status as the only UK service provider to abolish roaming charges, Vodafone UK wanted an innovative consumer focused campaign which lived and breathed in the digital and social arena. 2009 has been the year of Twitter, and Shine wanted to hijack the excitement around the micro-blogging site.

Shine developed an ambitious interactive Google/Twitter mash-up to track the holidaying habits of British and foreign travelers. With a reach of 4,132,000, the UK campaign was so successful that Vodafone replicated it in Germany. It led to 600,000 opting into Vodafone Passport this summer which is a 120% uplift on the company’s prediction.

2. Strategy and Implementation

We structured the campaign in three clear phases: Create, Grow and Maximise
Phase One – Create
• Shine tracked down Ben Marsh to see whether the idea was feasible. He jumped at the chance to make the activity work and the #ukhols map was born
• The #ukhols map enabled Vodafone UK to capture holidaymakers’ data through ‘hash tags’. The information was displayed in the form of an interactive map and enabled tweeters to see the top 10 holiday destinations, have access to live holiday reviews and use it as a holiday planning forum
• The roll back information tabs on the map gave all Vodafone Passport information and linked through to the site
• Tweeters ‘hash tagged’ their age, sex, UK postcode, destination and information on the destination to Twitter after #ukhols to put their quick reviews on the map

Phase Two – Grow

• A strategic leak to two influential blogs - Electric Pig and TechRadar – generated an initial 30 pieces of coverage in other influential digital titles such as Guardian Unlimited, Daily Mirror and Litman Live
• This really captured the attention of the digital sphere, and drove traffic to the map rapidly. After one week we had interacted with hundreds of Twitterers, all sharing their holiday plans

Phase three – Maximise

• Following the initial stage which saw pick up snowball, we were able to analyse data to create collateral for trend stories
• Shine compiled and released reports on the nation’s holidaying habits and received further online coverage in targeted digital specialist and travel media
• We had sustained interaction with the #ukhols map for the full 3 months of the Vodafone Roaming campaign and tweets are still being captured

3. Results

Vodafone UK recognises that customers want to transform their personal and professional lives through a simple, useful and fun experience that works on any device and any network – and this campaign delivered just that.

We received 74 pieces of online coverage including Guardian Unlimited and Brand Republic. All included the abolished roaming messaging. We also received further coverage on the holiday trend report developed from the #ukhols map data.
Snapshot of coverage and intended message “Vodafone’s got a cool new Twitter mash-up you can contribute to right now: a map showing where Brits are heading on their hols this Summer”

TechRadar: “Vodafone has set up the service to not only trend where people are going, how old they are and where they're setting off from, but to also promote its roaming charge drop this summer, where users can now have the Passport service (which essentially lets you take your price plan abroad for no extra cost) for three months with no set-up charge.”


“Vodafone in the UK has just launched a #ukhols map. This is exactly how brands should be creating buzz with social media API’s and mashups are such a simple and viral way of getting people interacting with the brand in a comfortable way”

We generated widespread buzz online and on Twitter for the full three months of the campaign.

• davidhargreaves: Very cool mashup promoting Vodafone abolishing roaming charges for the holiday season. #ukhols

• richspalding I quite like the buzz is causing. Even other brands RT'ing @ThomasCookUK #ukhols Don't just Book it, Thomas Cook it!

• rudileung: #ukhols Awesome mashup campaign. If you live in England, you can Tweet about your summer holiday on Google Map.

• KateDeMarco: #ukhols brilliant use of twitter and applications by a brand

• MirandaAshira: RT jangles Neat idea from Vodafone with #ukhols connect people online in an imaginative way. .love

Not only did we encourage media and bloggers to act as advocates, influencing opinion, other brands were piggy-backing our success – from Thomas Cook and RoughGuides, to and Mr and Mrs Smith Hotels – demonstrating the huge shareability of the concept.

Page views: 20,000
Tweets: 1,000
Number of articles: 74
OTS: 4,132,000

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