O2 prepares £3.5m Christmas campaign through VCCP

The mobile phone operator O2 is spending £3.5 million on its first Christmas advertising campaign, which will target Christmas shoppers in a lucrative selling period for the company.

The two 20-second television spots, created by Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest, will be backed by national press and outdoor activity and will focus on the company's reward strategy of special offer giveaways.

One of the TV spots will focus on free games which consumers can pick up when they buy a special phone, and the other will communicate O2's offer to give away free image and sound messages until the end of January on any of its media messaging phones.

Media planning and buying for the campaign was handled by PHD. The VCCP account director, Michael Sugden, said the television ads would run on terrestrial channels, with a particular bias towards the end of the week when consumers were likely to be planning their weekend shopping expeditions.

"Christmas is a huge time of year for the mobile phone sector, and we hope to tap into that by showing that O2 offers the latest equipment as well as extras," he said.

Sugden added that six-sheet posters would appear on high streets to ensure maximum exposure to the target audience.

Half of the press spend will be dedicated to national newspapers, with the remaining half placing ads in gift supplements in newspapers and magazines.

The campaign was written and art directed by Rooney Carruthers and Paul Kemp, and the television ads were directed by Howard Greenhalgh through Godman.

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