Campaign: O2 Mobile Model Search
Client: O2 in association with Nokia and Premier Model Management
PR team: Mission Media
Timescale: October 2004-February 2005
In January, O2 launched a nationwide picture messaging competition, in partnership with Nokia and Premier Model Management, to find future modelling talent. With PR agency Mission Media, the telecoms provider offered over-16s the chance to win a modelling contract and a starring role in a catwalk show during London Fashion Week.
To create a high-fashion association for the O2 brand and encourage mobile phone owners to use picture messaging services. To build awareness of Nokia's 'fashion' handsets.
Strategy and Plan
Mission's target was a predominantly 16 to 25-year-old audience, so it brokered a national media partnership with Metro. This deal included a four-page feature encouraging readers to enter the competition and vote for their favourite candidates at the Mobile Model Search website.
The freesheet also ran daily competition reminders, pictures of the 12 finalists and three follow-up features, plus promotions offering prizes of a luxury weekend in London and tickets to a fashion show.
Mission implemented an extensive regional print campaign using Premier models. In addition, Premier's head scout, Myra Allard, conducted 22 regional radio and TV interviews, in which she flagged up the competition.
This activity was supported by further promotions to win Nokia Fashion Collection phones, Gharani Strok clothing and trips to New York and London.
These competitions appeared in consumer titles, including Heat, Star and New. Meanwhile, O2 devoted some of its existing promotional slots on Capital Radio to the competition.
Measurement and Evaluation
The campaign resulted in 45 pieces of print coverage in national and regional publications, including Hello!, Heat, the Manchester Evening News, Bristol Evening Post, Birmingham News, Hull Daily Mail and the Oxford Mail.
Post-event coverage included the Evening Standard, Daily Star, Daily Mail and OK!, with further regional interest from the Croydon Advertiser, Yorkshire Evening Post and Western Gazette.
In addition to Capital Radio, broadcast coverage was achieved on more than 20 regional radio and TV stations and programmes, including BBC North East, ITV Yorkshire and London Tonight.
Mission estimates that the campaign reached an audience of 62 million.
More than 11,000 potential models entered the competition, while the Mobile Model Search website received more than one million hits; around 82,000 votes were cast.
Manchester Evening News reporter Riazat Butt wrote a diary piece explaining the competition. 'Because model searches generally tend to happen in London, I thought the picture messaging competition was a good way for people to enter without having to travel hundreds of miles to stand outside Earls Court for five hours,' she tells PRWeek.
'The Mission team were very helpful: I told them what I wanted and they gave it to me,' she adds.