Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?
This case is of an unprecedented on-ground experience that sold modern internet connectivity through a traditional grocery store that sold DVDs. But it’s not the ‘where’ that matters. This case is all about the ‘how’. We didn’t simply sell the internet connectivity in the store. We created the DVDs that our audience cares for and surprisingly offered them the internet connectivity through the DVDs. Targeting the core audience at the heart, through what they care about the most, and in an unprecedented engaging way. The surprising activation was welcomed and wished for, instead of being despised like usual competition claims.
Lebanon still suffers from bad infrastructure fundamentals like 24/7 electricity, clean water, and internet speed or even availability.
Some lucky spots in the capital enjoy access to a manageable internet speed. Anywhere outside the city center is a lost cause.
On paper, 91% of the population is connected (source: Hootsuite). But in reality, are they really connected? Research shows that Lebanon ranks 169/177 when it comes to global internet speed (source: Speedify).
In the age of multi-subscription streaming and online gaming, this is a problem. Why? Because NOTHING EVER LOADS. Providers keep making false promises of improvement that the Lebanese people have become immune to.
Brief: Internet users don’t trust claims of providers and have lost faith in their internet connection. How can we make them connect with Connect?
Objective: Make internet users give Connect a chance.
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
Lebanon has a special history with pirated DVDs. Before streaming movies/series became popular, there were torrents – but people couldn’t download them for the same reason that stops them from streaming today’s content: slow internet. Consequently, buying pirated DVDs became a consumption habit. Especially because of how cheap they are.
One DVD = 1$.
This turned pirated DVDs into a commodity, like buying groceries from the supermarket. Actually, the country’s biggest supermarkets started having sections for pirated DVDs – latest releases, classics… you name it!
Pirated DVDs are the antidote to slow internet. Internet users trust that DVDs will not fail them. They are guaranteed to watch content in its entirety, glitch-free. As opposed to an unreliable internet connection that is bound to abandon them after 5 minutes of streaming.
Creative Idea: Use the DVD consumption habit to promote Connect’s glitch-free internet speed.
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
91% of the Lebanese population are considered to be active internet users. This means that internet is an integral part of their life… but it was broken. Their connection is too slow to work. Being connected to the internet was an illusion. A digital magic trick.
Moreover, users were fed-up with false claims from internet providers promising them ‘lightning speed’ offerings.
For an effective message, we needed to understand what our audience cared about regarding the internet.
Over three weeks, users from different demographics were gathered for an extensive focus group. We asked them what they look for online and why they look for it. ‘Viral content’ (memes, challenges, parody videos) claimed the top spot and users expressed their desire to be part of the global internet community and online conversations.
Insight: Lebanese users aim to be up-to-speed with the global internet community, but their own internet is failing them.
Describe the execution (30% of vote)
We combined the content they loved the most, with the medium they trusted the most.
A fruit shop in one of Lebanon’s remote villages completely transformed into a typical DVD store. But instead of selling movies and series, this DVD store sold… internet content! From cat videos to compilations of the best Harlem Shakes and Kardashian parodies. The store was packed with over 100 fake DVDs.
During the weekend of January 10,11, 12, we invited marketgoers to discover all the internet content they loved, but never watched more than 5 seconds of it before it glitched.
To their surprise, the DVDs weren’t for sale but actual giveaway coupons promising functioning internet ‘wherever you are’ to view all the viral content and so much more. All they had to do was present the DVD at Connect P.O.S. to get a wireless broadband installed for free and 20% off their first month.
List the results (30% of vote)
Using DVDs, Connect went against all conventional communication efforts usually done by internet providers locally and regionally. Instead of empty promises floating on billboards and digital banners, it created a one-of-kind on-ground brand experience and reclaimed the trust of Lebanese internet users.
• 80% of shop visitors exchanged their DVD-coupon with a Connect membership at one of Connect’s P.O.S. (Client results)
• More than 4,000 people from the village and neighboring villages were exposed to Connect as they came to discover the newly opened DVD shop (Client results)
• Connect positive online mentions increased from 5% to 37% during the weekend and the week following the stunt (Crimson Hexagon)
• Following the stunt, more than 1,200 new subscribers signed up to one of Connect’s offers, a 77% increase from average monthly subscribers (Client results)