OntorNet (“wait for the net”) is the internet’s name in Lebanon. Its speed ranks rock bottom in 186th place – behind Zambia, Vanuatu and war-ravaged Afghanistan(1). Its download speed is 7 times lower than the global average(2). People were sick of it. But they could do nothing. The internet landscape was dominated by a duopoly of Telcos: Alfa and Touch. Both regulated by the state.
112 ISPs (Internet Service Providers) tried to breakthrough before, but their footprints were negligible(3). It was practically impossible to go up against the big boys’ preferential treatment and media money.
Connect is a small independent ISP that provided the only wireless internet solution outside the duopoly, at a lower price. It dared to challenge the big boys.
With less than 0.000125% of the duopoly’s media budget, the objective was to achieve:
1. Business Growth by stealing a (tiny) share from Alfa and Touch.
2. Brand Establishment by shifting Connect from an unknown player into a recognized third option.
We targeted the younger tech-savvy Lebanese. Social media is their go-to place and sole window of expression, which is why the snail-paced internet is one of their lives’ biggest obstacles. Yet, they remain at the forefront of the latest fads and trends. We analyzed their online content and found that the most popular content among Lebanese was the one that addressed their daily struggles, in a way they can laugh them out.
Sarcasm was their defense mechanism in the face of adversity.
Our strategy was to create shareable content that exaggerates the perils of slow internet, cynically!
We dramatized the fact that due to Lebanon’s slow internet, 2 of the world’s most viral phenomena (Harlem-Shake & Ice-Bucket-Challenge) finally arrived in Lebanon…just a few years late. We recreated live versions of the 2 viral trends. We made them as real as it can be. Without a script and a cast, we used real people that happened to be at the location of the shoot and invited them to just jump on one of the 2 trends, because, well…they just arrived! Both videos ended up with the message “Don’t be the last to get it. Connect faster, wherever you are.”
We seeded the films on YouTube as if they were uploaded by the “cast” themselves. From there, Connect’s Facebook page shared them. Then we promoted the films for 4 days.
Sales increased by 257% (+7,692 subscribers), which in turn resulted in a 254% growth of market share. The ROI skyrocketed with 24,600%, while the average-social-media ROI is 130%(4).
Connect brand registered a 32% awareness rate(5).
The films received a 180% increase in likes than any other post on the brand’s page(6).
Connect had to hire an additional customer-service employee to cope with the increased number of inquiry calls.
Finally, Adweek’s recognized Slow-Trends as Top 25 Ads of 2017 placing Connect on par with global brands.
(1) BBC News, 2011
(2) Ookla Net Index, 2015
(3) TeleGeography, 2016
(4) Word Stream, 2018
(5) Connect Research, 2017
(6) Crimson Hexagon, 2017