Wasserman recreates 1980s with RUN-DMC for Vodafone 30 years campaign

Vodafone is working with brand experience agency Wasserman to mark the 30th anniversary of the first mobile phone call by the mobile network brand with a gig being headlined by hip-hop group RUN-DMC, as well as a 1980s-themed street experience.

A visualisation of Vodafone's 4G arcade for its 30-years campaign
A visualisation of Vodafone's 4G arcade for its 30-years campaign

The music group will be performing hits such as Walk This Way and It’s Like That on 18 January at music venue Scala, near King’s Cross. Game of Thrones star and rising R&B soul singer Raleigh Ritchie will be supporting RUN-DMC on the night. Around 750 music fans, including competition winners and media, are expected to attend the event.

Barbara Walker, senior project director at Wasserman, told Event the gig is much more than about getting artists on stage. "We are trying to tell Vodafone’s story from the past 30 years and we thought it would be interesting to weave this in with an iconic artist from the 1980s, as well as up-and-coming talent. The brand’s 1985 launch changed the face and course of how music is shared."

The show will be live-streamed over Vodafone’s 4G network, enabling anyone in the UK to watch it for free on the brand’s UK YouTube channel. An app, called ‘Power To’, will also allow the gig to be viewed live on smartphones.

Tickets to attend the RUN-DMC gig can be won by visiting Vodafone's and the artists' social media channels.

Wasserman has also created and launched a dedicated brand space in London as part of the #30yearsVodafone campaign today (16 January) in Covent Garden, running for three days and themed around a 1980s street.

The 1984G Street experience, in which both the brand and agency have reimagined what a 1980s street would look like in the current day, will feature a record store, in which Vodafone has teamed up with music streaming service Spotify for. Guests will be able to pick up vinyl records from the 1980s inside the store and either take them to a DJ to play, or play them through Spotify’s streaming service.

A 4G Arcarde will showcase the evolution of gaming, and will include retro games such as Pac Man, as well as a giant version of a mobile phone in which guests can play Snake on – the second ever mobile phone game.

Vodafone has also partnered with Now TV for its 1980s video store, in which 200 VHS tapes will be available for guests to pick from, and will include TV shows and films from the era. Visitors will be able to pick a tape and be in with a chance of winning a prize, including popcorn with a free one-month trial of Now TV.

A 1985 version of a Vodafone store has also been created, featuring a 30-years quiz in which guests can win mini prizes, and a 4G interactive display showing the evolution of the network through the ages. Existing handsets from the last 30 years will also be on display.

A news agents kiosk – called Newbury News – will feature a news board with a modern twist, a digital screen that will broadcast RSS feeds and news headlines. Visitors can also post a 1980s-style postcard into a postbox, which will then be transformed digitally and sent to friends and family.

Walker said she is expecting at least 15,000 visitors to Vodafone's 1984G Street experience this weekend, if not more.

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