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Bring on the dancing horses

Bring on the dancing horses

The new 3 advert is pretty clever. Many girls around the age of 11 are getting their first phone as they embark on life at secondary school. This is also an age group that often love animals, especially ponies – and comical dancing ones? Even better!

In the competitive mobile phone market, making the service stand out is not easy, but this advert has certainly grabbed some attention – and it’s done so by moving completely away from the usual aspects (coverage, reception, reliability etc) and has gone for a personalised, ‘touchy feely’ approach by appealing to emotions and a sense of fun. 

If you haven’t seen the advert, it shows a grazing pony in the highlands that has been animated to dance along to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘I wanna be with you everywhere’. When a tractor drives past it quickly resumes grazing innocently, and then starts up the dancing again when the tractor has passed by.

The strapline at the end is ‘Silly stuff. It matters.’ – Click here to watch the video! 

But the really clever thing is that you can go online and create your own dancing pony. You can choose different music, different backgrounds and even different styles such as rock, rap, boy band etc. (We’ve made about 9 alternatives so far!)

Not only that, but you can upload them to facebook or twitter, and 3 are now showing them on mainstream TV. If you’re lucky, you will see your own advert name-checked in the ad breaks.

Whether you love or hate this campaign, there are several things to learn from it:

  • Target audience – youngsters about to get their first mobile phone. Very few people change network once they’ve established a relationship. (I’ve been with my network for 15 years!)
  • Engagement – fun, silly, available online – an activity for the pre-teen and teen market to join in with
  • Memorable – it certainly sticks in the mind
  • Using technology – enabling people to play and have fun creating their own version of the advert, and especially genius, airing the finished results on national TV
  • Using social media – everyone who creates an ad is given the option to upload it to their facebook or twitter page. There is also a twitter hashtag enabling discussion and interaction. This means that the public are doing the job of extending the reach of the campaign.



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