Orange campaign for free texts extension targets teens

Text-mad teenagers are being targeted by Orange in new television ads that aim to build more business on the back of the trend.

Mother has produced a trio of ads breaking nationally this week in a campaign directed at 16- to 18-year-olds and non-Orange customers.

Initiative Media is handling media planning and buying for the advertising, which supports the extension of Orange's free weekend text offer. Since the launch of the service in April, the company claims to have attracted more than 250,000 new pay-as-you-go customers.

The first ad is set in an "all you can eat" steak house, where a young couple on their first date are bombarded by messages from their friends checking on their progress. One message to the boy advises: "Don't touch the garlic bread."

In another spot, a girl working at her Saturday job in a bakery faces a series of sarcastic messages from friends who are out on the town without her. "How's the oven tan coming on?" one asks.

A third spot features a bleary-eyed girl who, on waking, gets a scare from a text, which asks: "What's this about you and the monkey?"

All the commercials were directed by Ben Dawkins, who signed for the production company Love in March, having built his reputation as a motion graphics designer.

Pippa Dunn, the brand marketing director for Orange UK, said: "We know that 16- to 18-year-olds are addicted to communication and that price rules when it comes to purchasing decisions."

The campaign follows an NOP survey commissioned by Orange showing young people would give up friends and family at weekends rather than lose their mobiles.

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