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Insight 

All mobile networks face similar problems: even though our phones are often our most cherished possession, the networks that make them function are increasingly seen as a commodity.  

Mobile networks are essentially an invisible product – waves that pass through the air – and we often only care about our provider when our phones aren’t functioning. 

So branding is critical, but even that is increasingly becoming part of the wallpaper, particularly among millennials. However they’re a fickle audience to engage. They’re seeking excitement, participation and identity, but are the least engaged audience for many brands, including Deutsche Telekom. 

Telekom Electronic Beats, a music-lifestyle marketing programme, exists to bridge this engagement gap. Since 2000, Telekom Electronic Beats has created a universe of music experiences with electronicbeats.net at its heart. 

Deutsche Telekom’s belief is that “Life is for sharing.” MediaCom wanted to create a way to bridge this belief with the excitement millennials are constantly seeking. 

The agency realised Deutsche Telekom’s brand colour, magenta, gave a unique opportunity to create a natural environment in which it could connect with millennials. Not by simply trying to put it “here, there, and everywhere”, but by giving this audience the chance to turn the colour magenta into something for them – an entertainment channel with the exclusive content they craved. 

This would allow Deutsche Telekom to become an active player in millennials’ mobile experience. 

Strategy 

Deutsche Telekom has invested heavily over many years to make its brand colour magenta its most recognisable asset.  

So MediaCom decided to turn anything that was coloured magenta into an exclusive Deutsche Telekom media channel, using chroma-key technology - the same “green screen” technology used in broadcasting.  This magenta-based media channel would be accessible via a free app, The Lenz.   

All the users had to do was point their phone at anything and everything magenta – walls, letters, clothing, etc.  The magenta areas would then reveal exclusive content. 

But the technology alone was not enough. It needed a partner who would be truly compelling with broad appeal, who could release exclusive entertainment materials via The Lenz, making the app more appealing for the young target audience.   

The agency decided to partner with the world’s biggest virtual band, Gorillaz, who – research showed – consistently attract a millennial following because the band never ages. This, combined with their virtual appearance, provided a perfect opportunity for Deutsche Telekom to offer a unique experience to consumers. 

A partnership with a compelling band such as Gorillaz was risky because the brand could be overshadowed. But the strategy was to be the gatekeeper – not sharing the stage with professional performers, but making the band’s unique and exclusive content available on all things magenta. It therefore became an important facilitator for the partnership. 

The Lenz app was the perfect solution to make Deutsche Telekom relevant to millions of European youngsters via their smartphones.   

Execution 

The Lenz transformed everything and anything magenta into an owned media channel. When people pointed the app against anything magenta, they saw Gorillaz augmented-reality content, sometimes enriched by local product offers.   

For example, people wearing magenta socks could see Gorillaz videos playing on their socks. Magenta letters on a poster became portraits of Gorillaz’ band members.  

This was a new dimension of entertainment: overlaying Gorillaz content through existing touchpoints. With The Lenz and a dab of magenta, the agency turned 12 countries into a stage for Gorillaz to enter the real world and reinforced the power of the Deutsche Telekom brand.  

To drive downloads of The Lenz, MediaCom needed the app to become famous. It launched in a big way — OOH stunts (e.g. magenta grass in front of Tower Bridge in London), the world’s first live cartoon interview and a unique partnership with more than 500 micro-influencers, all supported with a heavy PR-media push. 

Across mobile, it launched an interactive advert that mimicked a phone call. People could receive a call from Murdoc – a Gorillaz character – who invited them to download the Lenz. 

Then the message was delivered across digital, OOH and print in all markets - a fully integrated campaign, with just a dab of magenta. 

Telekom’s Electronic Beats and Gorillaz content became one, providing the target audience a portal where they could access, engage and share exclusive content via their social channels.  

Results 

Results for this campaign remain confidential at the client's request.

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