Case Study - T-Mobile

T-Mobile is a mobile network that reaches 125 million customers globally, including 16.8 million in the UK. The brand attaches great importance to interacting with its customers and is committed to the use of event marketing to support its new strapline 'Life's for sharing', which it launched this year.

Disco 2008
Disco 2008

To further enhance this strapline, T-Mobile has partnered with social networking site Bebo on the My Social Sites mobile application and on one of its flagship events, Transmission with T-Mobile, a music programme that currently airs on Channel 4.

"Events are hugely important to T-Mobile because they provide the perfect opportunity to have a direct conversation or relationship with your audience in a way that you are not able to do through other channels," explains T-Mobile advertising and sponsorship manager Jeremy Corenbloom. "Events can demonstrate our brand values and allow us to differentiate from our competition."

MUSIC

"T-Mobile is a mass-market brand; when we do our events we won't focus on everybody, we try and segment it down," says Corenbloom. "Often with our music activity we target 18 to 25 year-olds. Music appeals to that audience because it's a topic they talk about with friends, it is a real hot currency among them and a language they understand. Music events therefore help to demonstrate T-Mobile's 'Life's for sharing' strapline."

Corenbloom says T-Mobile has always used music events as they are an important tool in engaging and bonding with customers, which helps to grow the business.

The T-Mobile Street Gigs concept launched in 2005. It provided a unique way to reward customers with a special one-off gig of their favourite artiste or band, held in a non-traditional music space that had a natural link to the performer.

The last of these gigs took place in 2007, and highlights of the series included the New Young Pony Club performing at the Science Museum. The venue was chosen because two members of the band met at a science convention, and one of the band's songs, The Bomb, contains lyrics about Albert Einstein.

Another event was held in a circus-themed temporary structure in Berkeley Square to launch Mika's debut album Life in Cartoon Motion. In 2006 The Rakes played in a kebab shop, and The Strokes performed among the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum.

"We place great importance on intimacy at our events to make sure that everyone who attends has a truly fantastic experience. Organising an event that is small and well executed is a good way to get our brand values across," says Corenbloom.

Transmission with T-Mobile has grown this year to include two new features, Ice Cream Disco and Collaborations. Ice Cream Disco is a fun twist on the idea of a silent disco, which has become a favourite at Glastonbury festival. Two DJs in separate ice-cream vans play a set to an audience who are listening through headphones. The audience then choose which of the DJs played the better set.

"Ice Cream Disco is a good example of a small, intimate event because it can include 50 to 250 people and is a great opportunity to come along with friends and like-minded people," says Corenbloom.

The mobile giant also launched a nationwide competition in July this year to give viewers the chance to bring Ice Cream Disco to their hometown, taking the concept beyond the television show.

"We anticipate the Ice Cream Disco will move into next year and would like to see if we can grow it and take it to all four corners of the UK," says Corenbloom.

The Collaborations series brings two artistes together for the first time, such as The Script and Kelly Rowland. After rehearsing for a week they perform a mixture of both of their songs. "This concept puts two people on stage to create something special, while Ice Cream Disco allows the DJs to play at the same time, collaborating to create a fantastic party. These two music experiences are very important to us and provide interesting and innovative ways of bringing the 'Life's for sharing' brand claim to life," adds Corenbloom.

Embracing the importance of online event marketing, the company offers free tickets for Transmission with T-Mobile through the Bebo website, as well as through more common print press competitions.

EXPERIENTIAL CAMPAIGNS

T-Mobile also uses events as part of the marketing for larger campaigns, such as last year's web n' walk service activity organised with agency TRO.

The £3m campaign visited shopping centres and town centres nationwide from April to May, and involved providing a mobile internet experience to the local shopping audience. TRO created a series of questions, the answers to which could be found by searching the internet. Contestants with correct answers were issued a numerical code that was instantly included in a prize box to win a Nokia N95.

SPONSORSHIP

Football is an important area for T-Mobile. "It is one of those social currencies that we know our target audience like to share and chat to each other about," says Corenbloom.

T-Mobile was a sponsor of the 2006 World Cup and organised UK screenings during its World Cup Fan Parks events. This year, the company is continuing its relationship with West Bromwich Albion as the club's official mobile partner. It has created a season-long experiential activation with the club to deliver behind-the-scenes player banter, gossip and news, directly from the team to fans' mobiles. All the fans have to do is turn their Bluetooth on before kick-off to download a short video clip, completely free of charge.

"This demonstrates how we have brought the 'Life's for sharing' brand claim to football, because we wanted to share the human side of the club to fans. It is an exciting project as it is the first time that the fans can see the inside the club," reveals Corenbloom.

MEASUREMENT

T-Mobile measures the success of its events through a number of brand metrics, including how they help to shift products, anecdotal feedback and 'buzz' gathered directly from guests during the event, and finally how much press coverage is generated by the event.

Corenbloom says experiential activity is measured on a campaign by campaign basis, depending on what the aims are. For example, a campaign could be purely reliant on purchases made.

THE FUTURE

"We are in the early stages of planning a big event to be held in the centre of London, so I can't reveal too much yet," says Corenbloom. "We try to create events from the bottom up and promote them through television and customer competitions. If there is an increased interest in any of our events we will begin to take them on the road, and deliver them to where our consumers want it."


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