Vodafone: How to make small seem big

Hubert Boulos and Hatem El Kashef
JWT Cairo


Egypt is a poor country where the telecoms category is highly competitive and driven by price via promotions targeting prepaid users, who comprise 90% of the population.

Vodafone's challenge was to compete on value, not just price.

Vodafone wanted to introduce "micro credit recharge cards" (priced between 5 and 30 British pence.) Had we looked at such cards as cheaper versions of pre-pay cards, then inevitably we would be inviting more price-led marketing and communication.

Our discovery: it is common practice in Egypt for shopkeepers of various types to substitute small change for low value items such as chewing gum, candy etc.

We decided to shift our frame of reference and position the micro recharge card as relative to small things given as change (nails, biscuits, candy etc). A new name, Fakka (Egyptian slang for "change"), came to mind quite readily.