The internet in Lebanon is called OntorNet (“wait for the net”). Ranked rock bottom in 186th place, Lebanon suffered from the world’s slowest internet connection. The average download speed was 7 times lower than the global average and the price was 12 times more expensive! People were sick of it.
Moreover, the internet landscape was dominated by a duopoly of Telcos: Alfa and Touch. Together, they ruled the sector by tacit consent.
As small independent ISP (Internet Service Provider), Connect provided the only wireless internet solution outside Alfa and Touch, at a lower price.
With 0.036801% of the duopoly’s media budget, our objective was to break through the duopoly of giants to achieve:
- Business growth: stealing share of bytes from Alfa and Touch.
- Brand awareness: establishing connect as the third option to end the paradigm of having to choose between the lesser of 2 evils.
Describe the creative idea.
Lebanon has a local population of 4.3M and a diaspora population of 18M. Yes, you read that right. That means for every person living in Lebanon, there’s almost 5 of their relatives abroad… and with only one way of communication: Skype.
Can you imagine a bigger adversity in the face of so many people? It was the equivalent of our century’s plague: the Splague.
We put a face to the Splague… literally. Cue “Slow-Face”; a common condition that has been eating away at people during video calls – it manifests itself in woefully deformed faces and voices.
We created shareable, ridiculously cynical, content that: introduced in a dramatized way the tragic condition, showcased its consequences, and then revealed the cure to be a faster connection with Connect.
Describe the strategy.
We targeted ‘The Furious and The Fast’ and ‘The Furious and The Slower’.
The former are younger Lebanese, early adopters, infuriated by the slow-internet connection that proved an obstacle in their fast-paced lives.
The Latter are older than their predecessors, use the internet to connect with others, infuriated by the slow internet that tests their patience with technology.
What brings these 2 profiles together, apart from their frustration with the snail-paced internet, is their sense of sarcasm as a defense mechanism in the face of adversity. Social media is their go-to place to turn all negativity in Lebanon into an opportunity for fun.
We acted like them, we connected with them using the same spirit and being on the same medium. Additionally, social media was a perfect fit for Connect’s budget. We created sarcastic shareable content that exaggerates the perils of slow internet, overly-cynically!
Describe the execution.
Main film - Introducing the epidemic:
In a Godfather-like mood, we see a father consoling his wife as she mourns their son who was suffering the woeful condition on their monitor. VO: “Help us fight Slow-Face. Change to a faster internet connection”.
Additional scenarios - Diagnosing it:
We created 4 additional films featuring people in different situations covering our audiences’ lifestyle: A son skyping his parents, a work conference, a woman skyping her best friend, a man talking to the audience. The films show how to identify the disease.
Social media campaign:
The films were supported by a full social media campaign highlighting the symptoms and offering tips to overcome the “Slow-Face” epidemic.
We created an online Slow-Face tester where people could find out if they were carriers of the disease based on their connection and accordingly, they would be directed to a suggested internet plan on Connect’s website.
List the results.
Sales increased by 164%, which in turn resulted in a +0.67% market share - major milestone knowing the size and budget of Connect in the face of two goliaths (Connect Sales, 2018).
The brand achieved 42% awareness rate (Connect Research, 2018).
Connect’s Facebook page grew by more than 40% compared to last year’s campaign as people loved the campaign, and engaged with it - 25% more compared to last year’s campaign (Crimson Hexagon, 2018).
Then, they acted accordingly. The online Slow-Face tester along with the social posts and films drove leads that were converted by the customer service team at Connect. And while current customers were quick to tag their friends to share a laugh, we were also quick to convert those too.
And we made it to Adweek! placing Connect on par with global brands.