Chemistry (the makers of the now famous France and the Croke Park box letters) made the recent eircom TV ad that was a response to the Vodafone switching ad. Vodafone had people painting their doors red and the eircom response had people stripping the red off and going back to orange. It’s common in the U.S. but unusual here to see companies directly challenge each other on TV. I don’t watch TV (much) but was told about the ad from friends who really liked it so tracked it down. Part of this promotion from eircom involves sending people in the media and bloggers boomerangs. Clever.
I got eircom to send some questions on to Chemistry about the ad and the replies are below (slightly edited):
Comments attributable to Sinead Cosgrove, Chemistry:
1. Was there a detailed brief for this or were you asked to create an ad in reply to Vodafone’s red door ad?
Our brief was to communicate eircom’s very clear and important message that 55,000 customers had returned to the company in the period 1st September 2008 – 31st August 2009. eircom had also carried out independent research that showed that consumers actually wanted eircom to stand up for itself a bit more. When competitors talk about taking customers from eircom, it gives the impression of a one-way street. It isn’t.
Vodafone’s latest campaign very clearly stated intent to target eircom customers. The eircom campaign is not just directly targeting Vodafone but rather is an example of eircom standing up for itself which according to independent research is what customers wanted. It also presents a balanced and true view that while customers have left, they return for real value and great service. We made the message engaging by deliberately being a bit tongue-in-cheek in our execution of the advert.
1 b. How did you come up with the idea for it?
Due to the requirement for a quick turnaround we brainstormed rather than worked to a formal briefing process. Part of how we came up with the idea was because we knew that consumers wanted to see eircom take a stance. We wanted to find an engaging way of responding to the general “sniping” from competitors but know that the manner in which you do this bears different significance for the consumer: too much aggression and bickering turns the consumer off; blow your own trumpet and you risk coming across as both arrogant and irrelevant. We knew that we had goodwill in spades from the consumer and that this was due, in large part, to eircom’s reputation for better service levels (which is partly why 55,000 people came back to eircom). We wanted to take this goodwill from the consumer and build it into something that they would recognise and engage with. Humour and simplicity of message helped land the tone we were looking for.
1c. How many times did those doors get painted at this stage?
This is a very famous street and many advertisers have used it because it has houses that are both characteristic and uniform. We only actually painted two of the doors, the rest were colour-changed in post production.
2. What was the turnaround for the ad? Perhaps I’m wrong but it seemed to come rapidly after Vodafone brought theirs out
The advert was conceived and turned around within a week. Using the “Doors” in the execution meant that we could be very clever, tactical and humourous in taking on our critics and competitors.
3. Was this purely for TV or is it to be seen in other media too?
This campaign included TV and press advertising as well as online banners and direct mail activity
4. What was the feedback like for this?
So far the feedback for this campaign has been extremely positive.