Hutchison Whampoa

SOS call saves day for New World Mobility

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 July, 2005, 12:00am

NEW WORLD Mobility's advertising campaign, which garnered a silver Effie, is full of gritty and painful but humorous realism.

A television commercial shows a hiker who gets bitten by a cobra while rambling in the hills. In agony, almost at death's door, the hiker manages to reach for his mobile and make an SOS call. Soon, his friends - presumably on different trails on the hill - rush to his assistance and one sucks out the poison.

Thus, thanks to the Neighbourhood Network for Hong Kong People, a life is saved. But within minutes there is another crisis. The man who sucked out the poison has begun to choke on the poison he swallowed, and so it goes.

With this campaign, the Neighbourhood Network for Hong Kong People - The One For You, New World Mobility (NWM) wanted to show the use of these services in a daily life setting with a compelling story told in a dramatic and creative manner that touches the hearts of the target market - young people, according to NWM vice-president, marketing, Melanie Lee.

The commercial's off-the-wall humour packs a Thai flavour. 'Thai humour that brings together serious acting and funny out-takes was applied to the shooting of the television commercials,' Ms Lee said.

The prime reason for such attention-grabbing tactics was to shock users into the realisation that NWM had a lot of practical applications that could immediately be put to use. New World prefers to be associated with practicality than with futuristic technological innovation.

Another aim was to stimulate customers to increase their use of data services.

'With most of the 3G mobile operators already launched, NWM [which lacks a 3G licence] needs to gear up to tell its consumers that we have a lot of services that they need now as opposed to in the future. We are not high-sounding; we are practical and we are here to provide the services that you need. The underlying aim was to stimulate customers to increase use of data,' Ms Lee said.

The One For You campaign was deployed in a one-month advertising blitz that incorporated TV commercials, print advertisements and point-of-sale materials.

NWM met its targets. Subscription to Press 'n Talk services exceeded the sales target by more than 30 per cent in the first two months after the launch of the campaign. Subscriptions to the Connecting Tone service that allows users to add their own connection tone, increased by 120 per cent.

Consumer awareness was enhanced through press coverage estimated at more than $3.6 million during the period.

'The $3.6 million media value which included 65 press articles and five TV and radio interviews was calculated based on the advertising rate of those mediums if we were to buy the space to obtain the coverage,' Ms Lee said.

'We are happy we achieved excellent business results and recognition from consumers and from the industry. We do not engage in advertising merely to win awards. We advertise to build our brand and sell our services. But having done the right thing, we believe we will gain the recognition we deserve.'

This year's winning campaign built on the success of the campaign that NWM submitted to last year's Effie. Last year, NWM took home a Silver for its We are Better than You Think campaign. That campaign successfully changed public perception of the brand as conservative and old-fashioned to being strong, humorous and creative.