Vodacom: we’ve been having it!

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The challenges faced by both mobile operators and mobile handset brands in India is unique: they need to address both the entry level user and the advanced user at the same time. Handsets that are priced at Rs.3000/- have a place and so do those that sell at Rs.30,000. Similarly, service providers need to attract entry level users with value-for-money package deals and increase ARPU with value added services. More on the handset strategies here. Mobile service operators too face the challenge of getting consumers to use services beyond the SMS.

Vodacom, a mobile service provider in South Africa has come up with this TVC to promote the value added services. The insight is that people were either apathetic towards these services or don’t think they are necessary.

Agency: Draft FCB Johannesburg

The ad is apparently creating a huge buzz in the South African market. I thought it was funny, had a cute buzz phrase and likely to appeal to the youth or young at heart.

In the context of selling value added services, my guess is that a service operator may offer a plethora of feature rich services but even among the gadget-freaks and mobile maniacs the usage of these services is minimal. In my case, my service provider has a portal and my handset has services like Yahoo!Go, imobizo from Times of India, Opera Mini Browser, WorldMate for weather, Markets on Mobile from CNBC, a Yatra mobile application and so on. But my usage is limited to the Opera browser. But it is the exact opposite with my iPod Touch (sorry to plug Apple – again). Though it is not a mobile device, thanks to the Wi-Fi capapbility I have used it more than my Nokia handset to access the web, check mails and load web apps.


Vodafone & Airtel have promoted Search services and ringtones aggressively thus far. With the promise of 3G phones and an ever-online consumer we may see them pushing value-added services like TV on mobile and other feature-rich services.

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