Vodafone resurrects Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ to launch new reward initiative

Vodafone has dug into the annals of recent pop culture and emerged with what is often referred to as the worst song ever made, Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’. And rather than keeping the nauseatingly catchy tune restricted to a private boardroom listen between the marketing managers, the telco has decided to unleash a cover of it through a new TVC by FCB. 

“We approached the FCB team and told them that we needed the campaign to really create the Friday feeling,” says Vodafone’s consumer director Matt Williams. “And they told us, ‘Well, you’ve got to hear this song.’ We thought it was perfect because it was catchy, well known and it captures everything about the campaign.”

The new spot aims to draw attention the company’s new Fantastic Fridays loyalty initiative, which kicks off on 1 August and offers Vodafone customers a range of rewards, including two-for-one movie tickets at Hoyts and Reading cinemas, special ticket offers to the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards and Royal New Zealand Ballet, specials on tickes to sporting events and a varying range of awards for prepay subscribers every week. 

Williams says that since Vodafone has a long history of being affiliated with a range of entertainment and sporting events, it made sense to bring this world a little closer to the consumers. 

“We want to say thanks to our customers, and Vodafone Fantastic Fridays is how we’re doing it – rewarding Kiwis with stuff they love like movie offers, tickets to the big games, and access to live music,” says Williams.

Given that Vodafone has already established commercial partnerships, through sponsorship, with the Warriors and the New Zealand Music Awards, he says that this made it easier to bring the rewards programme to life. 

In effect, the partnership between Vodafone and the participating companies is symbiotic, in the sense that the telco appeases its subscribers while the companies affiliated with the campaign get their products or services in front of a massive database of potential customers. 

But, as was seen earlier this week with the ‘bread war’ between Foodstuffs and Countdown, discounting can become expensive. So who is footing the bill for Vodafone’s latest initiative? Is it the telco, the participating companies or a combination of both?  

“I can’t give any details about our agreements with the commercial partners because this is obviously commercially sensitive information, but I will say that Vodafone has invested heavily in this campaign,” says Williams. “It is very important to us to be the first provider to thank our customers in this way.”

Williams says that the rewards were determined by insights taken directly from the company’s subscribers.   

“We found that 60 percent of Vodafone customers have been to the cinema in the last three months, while another 48 percent have attended a live music event in New Zealand in the last year. And there are 1.1 million Vodafone Warriors fans here too.  Our response is to offer something that we know our customers will enjoy.”

In addition to these perks—which are available to most users excluding business customers—Vodafone has also will reward prepay customers by sending data or airtime bundles to their phones on Fridays.       

“We have put together a sophisticated system that will reward prepay customers based on what type of user they are. So, if for instance they tend to use a lot of data, then Vodafone will reward them with a data bundle.“

This system is alluded to in the new TVC, which shows people’s phones sparkling as the Vodafone motorcycle-drawn chariot passes through the streets. 

Vodafone customers can keep track of the Friday awards by calling 321 or by logging onto the Vodafone App, which will also be updated with a new game feature in the coming week.    


Client: Vodafone NZ
Client Contact: Consumer Director – Matt Williams
Head of Brand & Insights – Bart De Beucker
Head of Consumer Brand & Insights – Liz Wilson
Consumer Communications Manager – Aurica Gheorghiu
Product: Loyalty
Title/Length: Fantastic Fridays 30”
Air Date: 23 July 2014
Creative Director: Regional Creative Director – James Mok
Executive Creative Director – Regan Grafton
Creative Team: Art Director – Christiaan Van Noppen
Copywriter – Peter Vegas
Head of Content: Pip Mayne
Producer: Jodie Hari
Account Team: Head of Client Service – Fleur Head
Group Account Director – Karla Fisher
Production co: Sunday Punch
Director: Ryan Hutchings / Nigel McCulloch / Jarrod Holt
Producer: Anna Stuart / Esther Watkins
DOP: Chrichton Bone
Offline Editor: Nathan Pickles
Grade: Pete Ritchie / Blockhead
VSFX Artists: Nigel Mortimer/ Stef Coory / Blockhead
3D Artist: Matt Oak – FCB Designer
Matt Sutherland / Blockhead
Producer: Helen Naulls / Blockhead
Musical work: Friday
Clearances: Amcos – Oliver Khouri
Re-record: Liquid Studios – Peter van der Fluit
Singer – Jordan Luck
Producer – Sarah Yetton
Engineer: Craig Matschuka – Liquid Studios

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