Vodafone reveals ‘Firsts’ global marketing strategy


Operator announces new social media-led strategy which will replace its sponsorship of McLaren F1

Vodafone will use social media-driven events to boost its brand across the globe during 2014.

The new strategy replaces the operator’s global sponsorship of the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team.

The events, named ‘Vodafone Firsts’, mark the operator’s move away from the traditional ‘badging’ sponsorship approach.

In a statement, Vodafone said that ‘Firsts’ will focus on people doing “remarkable” things for the first time.

Vodafone added that the events will include: an iconic sportswoman to take her first steps to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable women; a professional surfer to achieve a lifetime’s ambition for the first time; a leading musician to create his first recording with sounds sourced from remote locations and a revolutionary approach to conducting an orchestra to be performed for the first time.

The events will be divided into three tiers – global, local and personal.

The new strategy will be launched in London on New Year’s Eve, with Vodafone working in partnership with the Major of London and food scientists Bompas & Parr to create the world’s-first multi-sensory firework display. The display will include special effects involving sight, sound, fruit flavours and fruit smells.

Vodafone group brand director Barbara Haase said: “Firsts represents a radical break with almost a quarter of a century of Vodafone-branded badged sponsorship. The concept is simple: we know that our technology can enable and inspire people to do something amazing for the first time, from making their first call to sharing their first video. Firsts is designed to reflect that sense of empowerment and excitement by using our technology and connectivity to enable a diverse range of people to achieve their remarkable ambitions.”