Address: St James Court, Bradley Stoke, Bristol
Date of birth: Orange launched in 1994. At the time, a company with a
weird, meaningless name was pretty radical. Now, with Smile, Egg and
Cahoot on the scene, it’s par for the course.
Nationality: British with parents in Hong Kong .
Marital status: Complicated. Mannesmann acquired Orange in November
1999. However, Vodafone Airtouch recently acquired Mannesmann so Orange
will be demerged and refloated this summer.
Background: Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa launched Orange
after its first venture, Rabbit, was put out of its misery in 1993.
Orange had to do something radical because Cellnet, Vodafone and Mercury
One 2 One were already established in the UK mobile phone market.
Its first step was to dump the Hutchison name and carve out a different
positioning. The memorable ’The future’s bright, the future’s Orange’
advertising by WCRS and brand identity by Wolff Olins is still held up
as a case study of how to launch into a crowded sector.
The quirky image and simplified tariffs did the trick, with Orange
claiming 25 per cent of UK digital mobile phone users by the end of
1995, its second year in business. It now has nearly five million
subscribers, making it number three in the UK market behind Vodafone
Airtouch and BT Cellnet.
Orange is already an established brand in Hong Kong, Israel,
Switzerland, Belgium, India and Australia and it aims to operate in 50
markets by 2003.
Remarkably, Orange is now the best known brand in Israel - just one year
after launching there.
- Rob Furness, marketing director
- Richard Brennan, commercial director, UK
Contact number 01454-624 600
Media agency and account manager: Mediapolis inherited the business
three years ago, when it merged with the WCRS media department.
Mediapolis recently added Orange’s global media account to the UK
business after a three-way pitch. Considering the brand’s international
ambitions, this was a big win. The account manager is Martin Rees.
Annual media spend: In 1999, Orange spent pounds 32 million, which was
boosted by its ’No ouch in our voucher’ campaign promoting its pre-pay
services. Pre-pay is now the fastest growing area of the market and
accounts for the bulk of the mobile networks’ recent media spend.
Media used: Television, press, radio, internet, outdoor, direct mail and
sponsorship. The company recently spent pounds 70 million sponsoring the
Arrows Formula 1 team, which is now called the Orange Arrows (and boasts
an orange car).