LONDON: Vodafone, the mobile telecoms business, is launching its new Vodafone Firsts social-media driven strategy in London on New Year's Eve with a "multi-sensory" fireworks display.
Nine months ago Vodafone announced the end of its successful five-year sponsorship of the Maclaren Formula One racing team in order to focus on a new marketing platform owned by the brand itself.
This will centre around people doing "remarkable things for the first time". In remarks reported by Marketing, Barbara Haase, group brand director at Vodafone, said it was a "radical break" with the brand's previous approach.
"Firsts is designed to reflect a sense of empowerment and excitement by using our technology and connectivity to enable a diverse range of people to achieve their remarkable ambitions," she explained.
There are three tiers to the new strategy which will launch across all markets during 2014. 'Global Firsts' will target people in multiple countries, while 'Local Firsts' will focus on events that resonate with one particular country. 'Personal Firsts' will appeal to individuals' ambitions.
The fireworks display has been created in collaboration with food scientists Bompas & Parr to create a show that people will be able to "see, taste and smell". An augmented reality app is also on offer for those unable to attend.
Other planned Firsts in the pipeline include a sportswoman taking steps to protect some of "the world's most vulnerable women"; a professional surfer attempting to achieve a lifetime ambition; a musician creating a recording with sounds from remote locations, and taking a "revolutionary approach to conducting an orchestra".
Haase rejected a suggestion that Vodafone was seeking to become a media owner in the mould of Red Bull, but said it was looking at what other brands had done in using different media, such as Nike+ and BMW's MiniSpace.com
She told Marketing Week that the brand would be investing "as much as is required", including in the areas of infrastructure, content production and event production.
She added that the brand retained some sponsorship properties beyond F1 at a regional and local level and it would be seeking to incorporate them into the Firsts programme.
Data sourced from Marketing, Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff