Vodafone tries to mix hard sell and likeability in Ogilvy debut

We haven’t always been kind about Vodafone’s UK advertising efforts – so why start now?

Here’s its big new campaign from new agency Ogilvy & Mather, starring Martin Freeman of Hobbit and Sherlock fame, who’s apparently signed up for the duration.

Freeman is Mr Interruption, putting his foot in it at a cheesy wedding somewhere on the Med.

It’s summer holiday time so roaming charges are on their mind.

Actually it does the job, the message about roaming comes across and Freeman is OK.

In an interesting interview with Campaign the Vodafone marketing wallahs acknowledge that their past advertising was pants and now they’re trying to build a relationship with their customers and potential customers – the latter are important as most people are on two year contracts – as well as flog value, not something we automatically associate with Vodafone.

In this context bad old ‘Power To You’ actually makes a bit of sense.

Wish they’d get rid of that red thing at the start though. Who puts the equivalent of the logo first?

This one: serviceable and the campaign might develop although Freeman is not exactly cuddly.

Just looks as though it should have gone through the wind tunnel marked creative stardust before reaching a (mostly disbelieving) world.

MAA creative scale: 5.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.