Threes are good: W+K takes on the cynics to show that mobile phones make life better

Mobile networks used to be a premium sector for creative advertising, but the brands have long ceased to be distinctive. EE’s long-running Kevin Bacon campaign has fallen off lately, and O2 is trying something new with George the Poet instead of Sean Bean, but these days is best known for its music venues.

It’s only really Wieden + Kennedy that is keeping up the creative tradition set so many years ago by Orange’s “The future’s bright.” Its “Go Roam” ads were instant viral hits for Three UK, but instead of milking the line for years, we already have a new proposition, “Phones are Good.”

The ads are good, too.It’s a meme-friendly, fast-paced piece of work which argues that phones don’t ruin our lives, they make them better, and it’s a shame they weren’t around at some pivotal moments in history. The full two and a half minute film includes scenarios such as GPS stopping the Titanic from hitting the iceberg, Deliveroo saving starving cavemen, and Tinder rescuing Henry VIII’s wives from execution.

Three UK is also staging an art gallery-style takeover at some of its flagship stores, with an exhibition of famous historical paintings reimagined to include mobile technology. There’s also a pop up “Phone Spa” experience where you can get your screen cleaned and protected.

Shadi Halliwell, Chief Marketing Officer at Three, said: “At a time when we are being told to get off our phones, Three’s customers are actually using them three and a half times more than other providers. That’s because, unlike others, we understand how real people use their phones. And although we shouldn’t be on our phones 24/7, if it weren’t for our mobiles how would you find love lounging on the sofa? Buy new shoes while sitting on the toilet? Or get a chicken cooked, seasoned, garnished and delivered to your door at the drop of a hat?

W+K have been a real standout agency this year, delivering distinctive creative work for Nike, TK Maxx, Honda, Sainsbury’s, The FA, and Three UK.

This ad was directed by Ian Pons Jewell, who has also worked with the agency on Nike, TK Maxx, and Finish.

MAA creative score: 9

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former London Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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