IPA Effectiveness Awards 2004: Silver Award - East of England Broadband


Campaign: Demand Broadband

Client: East of England Development Agency

Agency: Omobono

Principal authors: Francesca Brosan, Omobono; Ben Dansie, Omobono; Chris

Butterworth, Omobono

Media used: Interactive, direct marketing, viral, sales promotion,

print, PR, outdoor, radio, ambient


In September 2002, the East of England Development Agency committed £413,000 to promote broadband in the region. The advertising that followed, by the Cambridge-based agency Omobono, has since created £4 million in value for its client.

The campaign helped the development agency gain broadband access from telecoms companies that had refused to supply it to rural communities.

A lack of high-speed connections had been stifling growth in the region, the paper argues.

Omobono's integrated campaign drove those without broadband to an online brokerage system that grouped people with other registrants in their area.

The idea was to show people that, while they had little influence on the situation individually, as a group they could have a strong voice on the future of broadband in the region. The "Demand Broadband" pressure group was born.

The results were dramatic. The agency smashed its online registration targets by 800 per cent. Of the 16,699 registrants who could not get broadband, 93 per cent of them will be broadband-enabled by the end of next year.

Before the campaign launched, the availability of broadband in the east of England was 53 per cent. By the time the campaign had finished, this figure had risen to 93 per cent. BT has now changed its policy and is in the process of enabling telephone exchanges throughout the region.

The judges' view

This is a compelling small-budget case study describing a region's successful broadband-lobbying efforts. Using a unique range of media and reporting a broad series of effects, this is a textbook regional and small-budget marketing effort.