Vodafone Snapstars was a world-first idea that revitalised Vodafone’s traditional sponsorship to generate growth from existing and new youth customers.
Vodafone’s sponsorship of the NZ Music Awards (VNZMAs) was leveraged to actively engage youth with their loyalty programme, Vodafone Fantastic Fridays. A programme built on the principle of rewarding customers by getting them closer to the things they love.
After 12 years as naming rights partner of the VNZMAs, Vodafone’s association with the event was strong but the familiar red branding was at risk of becoming wallpaper. To deepen Vodafone’s relationship with youth required going beyond TV, launching a new communications channel that would let their audience participate in the VNZMAs from home.
Using Snapchat to capture and share exclusive content, anticipation and engagement were built that culminated in a series of user generated TVCs that aired in real time during the live broadcast. This broke the usual constraints of category and channel norms to give the youth segment the ultimate stage for self-expression.
The platform allowed communication in a highly targeted and often one-to-one basis – lifting Vodafone from corporate to contemporary – at a low cost to the business. However, for this idea to work, it depended on audience participation. A bold move with no guarantees. The results go to show fortune does favour the brave.
The synthesis of traditional and digital media on a pop culture stage delivered outstanding results, the bold marketing decisions drove commercial results and captivated an infamously hard to reach audience. A bold idea was converted into revenue but more so, a long-term, low cost channel for Vodafone to target youth was created.