Background & Challenges
In 2009 LG mobile was in a state; it was the least liked, most disliked and ‘mobile brand with most apathy towards it’ amongst all of its competitors when it came to its core audience: 16-24 year olds.
The mobile market is a cluttered market, and aside from LG’s confused identity, it was facing competition from the successes of Apple iphone, the re-launch of HTC, Blackberry’s new and coherent ‘Love What you do’ campaign and Nokia’s focus on social networking and its Ovi apps store.
Stand-out was the crucial point here; of all CE products, Mobile is probably the most competitive and saturated market. The market is full of brands and products with very similar messages: “Social networking”, “Facebook”, “Apps”, “GPS” being common product points, and themed messaging around “You” (Blackberry ‘Love what you do’, HTC ‘You’, iphone apps, O2 ‘See what you can do’ and ‘You’re better connected’) or “Community” (Nokia ‘Connecting people’, T-mobile ‘Life’s for Sharing’, Vodafone ‘Better together’) meant little room for explicit focus on the two key product attributes of LG’s 2010 range; Social Networking and Android Applications.
It was clear from its history and its brand preference scores that customers and consumers will only buy into LG if they like the brand and know what it stands for; messaging that focused on features alone, didn’t stand a chance in 2010, particularly with no hero handset. A brand-led campaign with a consistent creative idea to frame the product portfolio and allow coherent strategic messaging and stand out against the competition was needed: in the words of K.Ohame of McKinsey & Co:
“Keeping ahead with rational product advantages is unsustainable in highly competitive markets. It is the emotional value of brands that are enduringly attractive to consumers.”
Mobiles are our audience’s social life line: The connection to their boyfriend or girlfriend, their way of flirting with someone they can’t stop thinking about and their way of being heard above the rest.
Even more important than this, is the notion that they take themselves incredibly seriously when it comes to the messages that they send or receive via their mobiles (whether via facebook/text/twitter etc). Young people seem to spend hours agonising over how many kisses they should put, whether a ‘smiley face’ means a guy fancies them, or whether the thing that they are about to write looks cool or not. We noticed that there was real ‘drama’ around messages.
“The drama behind messages” became our creative springboard.
“The Young and The Connected”: The world’s most audacious soap-opera, documenting the trials and tribulations that young people today have to go through in order to manage their social lives via their mobile phones.
This was a digital campaign with a year’s ident sponsorship of Ch4 programmes including ‘One Tree Hill’, ‘Scrubs’, ‘The Inbetweeners’ and more. Just as these programmes were about the ups and downs of relationships, so was our creative work, and at the centre of this, 2010’s ‘relationship drama’ catalyst; the mobile phone.
The idea allowed us to cement LG as the brand that understands young people’s lives with a ‘smile and a wink’ (LG’s brand logo and tone) and make cut-through content that would raise the brand’s profile and hopefully its preference scores. The idea also allowed us to frame a the 2010 range, and not only talk about social networking, but also the melodrama that one could associate to mobile apps.
Preliminary Quant & Qual results among a 16-25 year old audience have shown a really positive response to the idents. Further work needs to be done to test the reaction to the other elements of the campaign in a ‘360’ context. Open-ended responses to the idents saw a really clear understanding of the message and provided some encouraging sound bites, including: “LG are one of the best types of phones for social networking”, “LG are fun, have a sense of humour and are up to date”, “Up to date and as good as other smartphones”, “Has photoshop and other apps”, and best of all, “They are as good as an iphone”. Of those that recalled the idents, a mean rating of 6.29 think that “LG is a brand for people like me” and 6.23 think that “LG mobile phones are for people like me”. Overall, a mean rating of 6.19 agreed that “LG is a brand that understands my needs”.