How Vodafone Smart Tech made a splash with their new digital campaign

Check out how Vodafone Smart Tech successfully leveraged in-context testing to launch their latest product and drove learnings for future digital campaigns.

Building emotional resonance among parents

Since it aired, the Neo kids smart watch ad has been picked up by several media outlets including Vanity Fair, The Independent and Hello!. Additionally, the main findings of this research included:

  • Grab early attention

    The campaign drove consumer action and talkability — which was a key goal. The team learned it’s important to grab viewers’ attention early on, especially in cluttered digital environments like Youtube where users can choose among a large library of content.

  • Brand cut through

    Strong brand messaging is essential when exposing a consumer audience to digital advertising. Findings confirmed the importance of Vodafone Smart Tech building category-brand association with kids smart watches. This was all the more important with a campaign built around an entirely new product.

  • Emotional resonance is a driver of action and brand memorability

    The ad struck an emotional chord with parent audiences. For Key Messages (“innovative”, “desirable”, “level of impact of the Vodafone masterbrand” etc.), the brand achieved their targets but learned that a shorter digital ad will work better for future campaigns.

  • The “why” behind digital performance

    Zappi Creative Digital helped Vodafone Smart Tech set the foundation for future digital campaigns by uncovering the why behind the ad’s performance and key metrics.

  • Actionable insights

    Zappi enabled Vodafone Smart Tech to optimize its online advertising strategy and find the creative and messaging components that make a consumer audience tick in a digital space.

  • In-context testing

    Zappi Creative Digital mimics the digital environment Vodafone’s Smart Tech audience would be in when watching the ad. This allowed the brand to identify the elements that would get their ad noticed online.

Opportunity

Driving smart watch adoption among parents and kids

Vodafone Smart Tech’s recent launch Neo, the smart kids watch, was born as a pre-smartphone device, capable of keeping parents connected with their children through technology — without exposing them to a smartphone too early.

Since kids smart watches is a nascent category that consumers aren’t overly familiar with, Vodafone Smart Tech needed to raise awareness and generate media attention in order to ensure a successful launch. The brand turned to social media and PR to spread the word.

Campaign creative

Direct consumer feedback

The main idea behind Neo’s campaign, featuring talent David Gandy, was to celebrate kids’ independence while turning the idea of a premium watch launch on its head (by having the kids call the shots in a photo shoot).

Vodafone Smart Tech created a long-form video that was targeted to a press audience to generate earned media mentions. The longer video was adapted into shorter content that was pushed on social media to raise awareness among a consumer audience. The team wanted to get direct consumer feedback to measure the success of the digital ad and apply those consumer learnings to future digital creatives.

Approach

In-context testing, blending qualitative and quantitative data with Zappi

Vodafone Smart Tech established an ambitious benchmark to measure this campaign against several competitor ads. Using this benchmark they wanted to understand:

  • Consumer attention and retention towards the video in the context of a digital environment (i.e. YouTube)

  • Consumer perceptions: Ad likability and emotional impact. Whether the video’s key messages land with viewers

  • The impact of the video and product in strengthening perceptions of Vodafone Smart Tech as an innovative brand

With this in-context testing approach, the team could see if the ad could cut through in a cluttered social feed and how audiences engaged with it.

There is a difference to what consumers are exposed to in the real world that I see as the testing environment, anything that we can do to make that gap smaller, to mimic real-world consumer behavior or consumer environment, is super important.
Dr. Kelly TateHead of Consumer Insight
Vodafone logo in black on a transparent background

Approach

Verbatims helped bring to life where humor was working

In addition to providing a number of quantitative measures around brand impact and key message clarity, Zappi Creative Digital includes qualitative verbatims that bring the insights to life. Zappi’s verbatims are autocoded, enabling Vodafone Smart Tech to view direct quotes from consumers, and quantify the volume of mentions. They found, for example, that 26% of respondents referred to the video as funny or entertaining.

Results

Building emotional resonance among parents

Since it aired, the Neo kids smart watch ad has been picked up by several media outlets including Vanity Fair, The Independent and Hello! Additionally, the main findings of this research included:

Engagement and retention rates: The campaign drove consumer action and talkability — which was a key goal. The team learnt that it’s important to grab viewers’ attention early on, especially in cluttered digital environments like Youtube.

Brand cut through: Strong brand messaging is essential when exposing a consumer audience to digital advertising. Findings confirmed the importance of building category-brand association with kids smart watches.

Emotional resonance is a driver of action and brand memorability: The ad struck an emotional chord with parent audiences. The brand achieved their targets but learned that a shorter digital ad will work better for future campaigns.

The Zappi difference

The “why” behind digital performance: Zappi Creative Digital helped Vodafone Smart Tech set the foundation for future digital campaigns by uncovering the why behind the ad’s performance and key metrics.

Actionable insights: Zappi enabled Vodafone Smart Tech to optimize its online advertising strategy and find the creative and messaging components that make a consumer audience tick in a digital space.

In-context testing: Zappi Creative Digital mimics the digital environment Vodafone’s Smart Tech audience would be in when watching the ad. This allowed the brand to identify the elements that would get their ad noticed online.

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