Our strategy was guided by three key insights. Firstly, teens are not interested in financial products, so the campaign had to be highly relevant to grab their attention. Secondly, teenagers are incredibly active online, using social networks to share opinion and content, if deemed worthy. Thirdly, teenagers adopt and discard trends at breakneck speed, so the campaign aimed to tap into their behaviour patterns and turn the negatives to our advantage.
We worked closely with Clearcast [the regulatory body for TV commercials] to create the UK's first contextual ad campaign. Creating a soap within a soap, it comprised 20 different spots that launched in breaks in Hollyoaks over four weeks. The spots referred to the Hollyoaks episodes they featured in and incorporated the O2 Load & Go card as the plot unfolded. This approach allowed us to harness the endorsement power of sponsorship, while showcasing our product with a sales message. The spots directed viewers to a special area of the Hollyoaks website that contained exclusive Hollyoaks "spending and trends content", with opportunities to win items featured in the show.
The activity reached more than two million teens through the television and web activity. More than 200,000 teenagers actively engaged online, spending an average of two minutes per session on the Load & Go area of the Channel 4 website. Crucially, more than 50% of the audience said they would consider applying for the card and on average they were likely to recommend the product to four or more people.
Hamid Habib, Communications planning director, ZenithOptimedia