Brand Slam: O2 versus EE

The mobile network providers are focusing on sport and music to retain existing customers and attract new ones.

Brand Slam: O2 versus EE

EE

Agency structure

EE has worked with Poke and HSE Cake, formed partnerships with Bafta and developed activations at festivals including Glastonbury.

Social footprint

@EE has 341,000 followers, while the brand’s Facebook page has more than 1.1 million "likes". EE’s Instagram feed attracts 22,500 followers.

Recent campaigns

In October last year, Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler were among the ex-footballers who played alongside YouTube football stars as part of the third annual Wembley Cup with EE. The series kicked off in September and featured Spencer FC and the F2Freestylers completing a range of challenges. It promoted EE’s pay as you go "free boosts" offer.

At Glastonbury 2017, EE unveiled what it said was the world's first 4G-connected smart tent, inspired by smart home technology and suggestions from festival fans on what would enhance their experience. The tent featured a number of connected technologies, including a bespoke mini fridge that tweeted when stocks were running low, as well as an entertainment centre that showed the BBC’s live streams of six stages across the festival and exclusive virtual reality content captured on site.

Latest campaign

In October, EE brought 4G-powered outdoor screenings to rural communities in partnership with Bafta. The initiative was launched with the world's first 4G "cinema in the sky" experience. Students from Goodwood Flying School were suspended 100 feet in the air above a former RAF base in the South Downs, with popcorn delivered by drones. Further screenings are being held throughout October in rural areas that have recently been connected to EE’s 4G network.

O2

Agency structure

O2 has worked with a range of agencies, including Undercurrent (part of the Current Collective), Frukt, Sledge and Ice.

Social footprint

@O2 has 342,000 followers, while its Facebook page has close to 1.3 million "likes". The brand's instagram feed ,@O2uk, attracts 16,900 followers.

Recent campaigns

O2 turned the entrance to The O2 arena into a neon-blue light installation where customers were encouraged to "follow the rabbit". The activation, created by Undercurrent, was designed to fit the O-shaped arch of the venue's main entrance. Inside the installation, the synchronised light show was timed to the music of The Chemical Brothers' EML Ritual, which also featured in the brand's latest ad slot. The activity followed the launch of O2's "Follow the rabbit" ad, again encouraging people to see live music.

In June last year, the brand celebrated its 10th birthday at The O2 with a series of live experiences, including performances from Alt-J and Céline Dion. One experience involved a 10th birthday box placed at the centre of The O2's piazza, giving guests the opportunity to win prizes and take part in a game show hosted by Vernon Kay and supported by Chris Moyles.

Latest campaign

O2 built a five-metre wall stacked with sweets on London's South Bank in September, with thousands of bags of sweets up for grabs. The publicity stunt aimed to promote the network’s new custom plans. Passers-by could pick their choice of sweets by posting a picture of themselves in front of the wall using the #O2CustomPlans hashtag.

Campaign says

EE's recent campaigns, particularly for Glastonbury, have showcased the brand's technology prowess. O2's activations, meanwhile, many of which leverage The O2 venue, have helped elevate its fan experiences and expand its reach to the many, giving it more than a slight edge over its rival.