Vodafone backs 'Live' with £25m campaign

Vodafone is poised to unleash the most heavyweight TV campaign in its history to support the launch of its data services package Vodafone Live.

It is understood to be spending more than £25m above the line in the UK alone over the next six months as part of a wider pan-European campaign encouraging consumers to embrace the mobile handset as much more than an instrument for voice calls.

The Vodafone Live ads dispose with its existing brand anthem Bohemian Like You by The Dandy Warhols. The ads are set to the soundtrack Can You Dig It by early 90s Manchester band The Mock Turtles.

They leverage its sport sponsorships, with prominent appearances by Manchester United star David Beckham and Ferrari Formula One driver Michael Schumacher.

The ads, which break on November 8, revolve around the Vodafone Live service transforming mundane incidents into sharable, memorable moments.

Beckham is shown spotted at a supermarket vegetable counter by a passer-by who uses the phone to take a picture with the star. Beckham is also shown holding up a supermarket queue because he is so engrossed playing a game on his phone.

Michael Schumacher features in a two-way scooter race with spectators cramming the finishing line and taking a picture as they cross the line in a photo-finish.

The ads were created by Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam. Vodafone's global network J Walter Thompson will adapt fresh executions to run from the new year.

Vodafone Live, which uses technology from the now-to-be-scrapped Vizzavi portal (Marketing, October 3), brings together colour, sound, picture messaging and mobile internet games for the first time as a bundled package.

UK marketing director Lance Batchelor said: "Live is the foundation for everything we do over the next couple of years."

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