Saatchi & Saatchi has handled the creative brief for the international rebranding campaign, while Bartle Bogle Hegarty will tailor ads for the UK. T-Mobile will become the second-biggest global mobile brand.
The company began life in September 1993 as Mercury Personal Communications when it launched the world's first GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) network as Mercury One 2 One. It was a joint venture between Cable & Wireless and US West International.
In October 1996, the Mercury name was dropped. September 1997 saw the launch of the UK's first pre-payment service, Up 2 You.
In June 1999, One 2 One and Virgin Group formed a partnership that saw Virgin launch its own branded mobile phone service in November 1999.
In August 1999 Deutsche Telekom payed £8.4bn to acquire One 2 One. It became part of Deutsche Telekom's mobile operation, T-Mobile International, which comprises T-Mobil in Germany, Max.Mobil in Austria, VoiceStream in the US and the joint ventures Ben (Netherlands), Radio-Mobil (Czech Republic), Era GSM (Poland), MTS (Russia), and the UK-based pan-European portal, T-Motion.
May 2001 saw One 2 One launch a £15m campaign featuring the strapline 'Life is made of One 2 Ones'. The ads starred Gary Oldman.
In October 2001, One 2 One bolstered its high street presence with the creation of a retail division, One 2 One Retail. It completed the rebranding of its PocketPhone Shops as One 2 One stores with T-Mobile featuring in the signage.
March 2002 saw Universal McCann and Saatchi & Saatchi pick up the pan-European corporate T-Mobile rebranding work. Both Starcom Motive and Bartle Bogle Hegarty remain on the roster to handle local product-led advertising.
As of December 2001, it had 10.4 million UK customers. One 2 One has invested more than £2.5bn on its networks. The company also owns 50% of Virgin Mobile.
This article was first published on Marketing