Facebook vs Hamilton

7 09 2010
  • Vodafone, Formula 1 driver, Lewis Hamilton’s major sponsor and Facebook have teamed up to launch a great campaign which allows Facebook users to partake in a formula 1 race will they make their virtual car in 4 days 20 hours and 57 minutes? …
  • In my opinion this is an awesome campaign . It creates the excitement and desire to be apart of this challenge. Duncan from the http://theinspirationroom.com reports  that Vodafone has set up a campaign which involves 28,000 slots to be filled in a virtual car by Facebook members. The idea is that you sign up, read the terms and conditions (stay tuned for more on this later) tick the box and your profile pic then gets added to the body of the car. Once your image has been added you then become apart of the car. The idea is that the virtual car will race live against Lewis Hamilton on a secret racetrack. Who will be faster the time it takes for 28,000 images to load up onto the virtual car or will it be Lewis Hamilton racing around the track? Look I’m not normally into the Formula 1, but this has gotten me interested in it! It is a clever way to promote and raise awareness of the new Vodafone mobile network that is being rolled out in the Netherlands. It is interactive for the users, gives the users something back to make them feel apart of the race and there are also prizes available, this campaign does adhere to most of the steps included in Chaffey et.al. Once you become a part of the car you can find your self and see who else has signed up to be in the body of the Formula 1 vehicle. So I took a punt and I too was hitting the button to sign up and I thought just this once I will look over the terms and conditions, well there are great prizes available and from the chapters I have read about permission marketing I was curious.

  • Okay time for me to be critical, in the terms and conditions the prizes are only eligible to those who are residing in the Netherlands on closer inspection there is a lot of smaller font. Vodafone and Facebook get access to your profile and friends. I decided to click on the about mobile broadband and there is several icons that I recognise as media, audio etc, however good use of the logo and reinforcing the brand, but sadly the text is not in English and I have no idea what they are telling me. Strike out for me I’m afraid. On closer inspection the profile pics on the cars are from all over the world Turkey, Istanbul, UK, Australia however none of these peeps are eligible for the prizes. Vodafone have missed out on raising awareness and promotion of their product. A very it you need to have it available in multiple languages or at least English. I struggled to find out more information about this great race, Google only came up with one or two sources and I was keen to know more. Currently there are 18,534 members signed up and there and I decided to bite the bullet and sign up just to follow and see where this race gets to. There are now 18,788 signed up so I am pretty sure they will met their goal. This could have been a real opportunity for them to email me information on the mobile network Vodafone are rolling out or perhaps send me info on the Australian mobile network – I didn’t receive either of these so I think the opportunity has been wasted. After I became a part of the car there was nothing posted on my profile or anywhere – I guess that has been left for me to spread it around.It is a great concept and one that we can all learn from I feel there will be more of this from other companies. I could really see the virtual AFL football or something similar being developed.So what are thoughts out there would you sign up to be apart of the virtual car? What do you think of the campaign? Have they missed the mark or uncovered a new concept that we will see again?

    Check out: http://apps.facebook.com to join the other Facebook members and create the virtual Facebook F1™ car.

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    3 responses

    13 09 2010
    Marion Ware

    Hi Mel,

    I agree with you that this is a good opportunity missed on behalf of Vodafone. It is rather annoying that many companies fail to actually test out their social media/online activities from the customer’s perspective to plug holes in their campaign.

    I recently followed up an off-line offer that needed to be activated online and ended up in “no-mans-land” on the companies website. Experienes like that really leave a bad impression with the consumer.

    Personally I would not provide access to my facebook or friends to any of these companies. There is no real pay-off line for me. Also I would be seriously cheesed-off if I had a friend on facebook who gave these guys access to my personaly details.


    14 09 2010
    Mikey's blog

    I agree with you Mel, it is a great concept, pitty about the execution. F1 is a global sport, with viewers from all over the world tuning into each race. By using online and Facebook as channels for marketing this promo, they automatically break the geographical constraints they would encounter if this campaign ran through offline channels. Vodafone would be silly in not thinking this promo wouldn’t attract people from around the world, I was definitely sold on the idea.

    A friend of mine just recently attended the V8 Supercars race at Phillip Island, he and his friends happened to be walking past the Vodafone tent and were asked if he or any of his friends were customers of Vodafone. Sure enough one of them were, he showed them is phone and then they were invited to spend 30mins inside the Vodafone pit garage. Their was no mention of this promo anywhere, they just stumbled upon it. After that experience, my friend actually considered switching networks in hope for more similar promos. Maybe this approach would have been better if they just wanted to target those who are residing in the Netherlands.


    27 09 2010
    Mazita Manaf

    Hi Mel,
    This post is interesting. Another clever marketing strategy related to the caused related marketing as well. Will be benefited everyone that involves in the campaign. Vodafone, facebook, Lewis hamilton’s major sponsor and F1 itself. Using the most popular social network as a medium to create awareness with no boundaries and less investment.
    As we know that virtual games are the best attraction for everyone in virtual world. Social gaming has been one of Facebook’s biggest success stories. Almost 200 million Facebook users who play games on the network and I guess with this new game coming in it will be significant increase of Fcebook members as well games player. Nearly everyone can agree that Facebook is trying to create a better customer experience and encourage better games.

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