Winners 2018

Best consumer campaign

EE 4G antenna launch
Agency: Nelson Bostock

Asked to predict the outcome of a campaign before launch, few companies would dare to suggest that stock would run out within a week leading to an upward revision of all internal sales forecasts – yet that is exactly what happened to EE after it launched its 4G antenna in February 2018.

Following the introduction of its 4G EE Home Router five months earlier, EE recognised that the launch of its 4G antenna and professional installation services would provide an opportunity to generate awareness of its new 4G product range but also highlight its network’s credentials, showcasing how it is providing 4G solutions to rural communities.

Its campaign focused on one rural community, the Northern Fells in Cumbria, which had limited fixed broadband access. Internal estimates by EE suggested that around half a million homes in the location would benefit from the device. Recognising that this had the potential to change people’s lives, EE’s PR team sought to bring the stories to life of how everyday Internet activities had been enhanced as a result of the new products.

Five local people from different backgrounds were given the products to trial. EE also worked with North Fells Broadband, a pressure group based in Cumbria, local MP Rory Stewart and the Countryside Alliance. The PR team spent three days recording the trialist and other parties, while drone footage was taken to capture a sense of the Northern Fells’ scale and remoteness.

A short film demonstrated the impact that the devices had on the trialists’ lives, such as the ability to watch catch-up TV, BBC iPlayer and even do mobile banking. A farmer, living 16 miles from the nearest town who previously coped with half a megabyte, talked about his children being able to stream games, while a first responder – previously stymied by poor Internet connections – could now step up.

EE created a suite of branded assets, which included video cuts for different platforms, photography and supporting commentary. Chief executive Marc Allera held media briefings to discuss the product’s potential, and also wrote to all senior ministers, while EE’s head of broadcast Simon Till spent a day being interviewed on regional radio stations.

The launch generated more than 150 items of coverage, a 2.7 per cent engagement rate on Facebook, with 16,000 video plays and a five-fold increase in traffic to the company’s website. EE’s call centres received several thousand calls following media reports and there was a 360 per cent increase in sales of the 4GEE Home Router. Within one week, EE had run out of 4G antennae.

The judges were highly impressed by the campaign. ‘Changing the narrative from ugly antenna to increasing access to rural communities is great. They sexed up a utility, making it positive. The campaign achieved great coverage and outstanding results,’ they said.