tms’ Virgin Media O2 work nominated for The Marketing Society Award

We are thrilled to announce we have been shortlisted in The Marketing Society 39th Annual Awards in the Successful and Effective Partnerships category for our long-standing work and partnership with Virgin Media O2. This category recognizes powerful collaborations and the impact of building successful long-term partnerships.

The Marketing Society Awards set the standard for marketing excellence, being shortlisted in the Successful & Effective Partnerships category is testament to the great work delivered by the tms and Virgin Media O2 teams for Priority over the last few years.

Bryony Ashman
Senior Account Director at tms

The Marketing Society Awards recognize the best in marketing excellence, brand leadership and achievement across the industry that drives business forward. The 19 award categories are judged by a group of elite marketers who are all working at the leading edge of marketing, representing a cross section of the most successful brands in the UK.

The Marketing Society awards ceremony will be held on 10th July in London at The HAC where the winners will be announced.  Stay up to date with our LinkedIn and website for the results!

tms delivers magical experiences with Priority from O2 in new spring campaign

Three phones featuring O2 Priority spring campaign

We’re excited to start the spring season with a new magical campaign for Virgin Media O2 customers. Knowing consumers may be missing out on some experiences and looking for discounts during the cost of living crisis, we crafted the concept and strategy for this campaign to help Priority members enjoy experiences for less.

With this Priority campaign, customers can earn tons of memory-making savings this spring, including the chance to win a magical three-day trip for four to Disneyland Paris to celebrate the 30th Anniversary Grand Finale, iFly indoor skydiving and Merlin Sea Life offers, and a London Eye ticket giveaway. There are also festival, concert, and museum deals and discounted delicious treats at Greggs and Toby Carvery meals for a Fiver.

Courtney Caddick, Partnerships Lead (Priority), said: “Time with family and friends is priceless, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth. At Priority, we’re all about more fun for less, so we’re delighted to bring such an exciting range of offers to families in the UK through Priority Live, at a time when budgets are increasingly tight.”

Hannah Partridge, SVP Client Engagement Portfolio International at tms, added: “The cost-of-living crisis is making it harder for families to go out, enjoy live experiences, and make memories together. So, we’re thrilled that Priority can help people access exciting offers in these tough times. We’ve worked with a fantastic range of partners to bring the Priority program to life and showcase the best of the UK’s family-focused entertainment, culture and adventure opportunities.”

Read more about Priority from O2 in Campaign.

tms launched Half-Term Magic campaign for O2 Priority members

children eating

Priority members unlocked savings on kids’ meals at family-friendly restaurants including PrezzoPizza Hut and Harvester as O2 collaborated with tms (formerly The Marketing Store) to launch a month-long campaign.

Although the difficult cost of living circumstances affects all of us, for the UK’s poorest families there is no escape from soaring costs as so much of their income goes into basics. tms’s (formerly The Marketing Store’s) strategy considered the upcoming October half term and therefore focused on affordable offers such as free kids meals, discounted activities and free cinema tickets to help families save and alleviate the financial and emotional pressure over half term.

The collective initiative by both teams resulted in great success, by the end of October 18,000 meals were redeemed from this campaign!

In addition, a charitable partnership with Greggs was created. Priority donated £1 for every Sausage Roll/Vegan Roll redeemed to The Greggs Foundation for the final two weekends of October. Free breakfast was provided to those children who were in need. The Greggs Foundation currently has over 750 Breakfast Clubs running across the country.

“Customer insight is so important to our Priority strategy — we aim to always deliver the best, most relevant rewards and experiences at all times throughout the year. So with Priority members facing growing financial stress due to the cost of living crisis, we were proud to use our October campaign as a force for good, by supplying 18,000 free meals to families this half term. Also, it was brilliant to collaborate with our long standing partner, Greggs, by donating to the Greggs foundations to support their Breakfast clubs across the country,” said Katie Moss, Senior Account Director at tms (formerly The Marketing Store).

Revitalizing an iconic loyalty program

Go Green billboard

Opportunity

O2 Priority is a long-standing loyalty program with strong brand fame; however, it needed to re-engage audiences in order to drive increased app downloads and engagement among its customers.

purple tiles with motivational messages

Approach

Driving hype and cultural relevancy around O2, Priority’s offers were lacking. Our approach was to rethink the calendar of offers with a focus on experience punctuated by tentpole moments — perfect opportunities for Priority to permeate culture and drive awareness of the exclusive rewards available to O2 customers.

.

Guy taking a picture of tile wall

Outcome

We launched Go — O2’s first experience-led loyalty campaign. The aim was to use Priority to inspire people to get off their sofas, get active, and explore the world around them, translating O2’s brand ethos to help customers feel more alive. During the 4-week campaign we negotiated partnerships with fame-driving brands to deliver COVID-safe, invite-only moments for Priority Customers, centered around four headline activations. To drive engagement throughout the campaign, we also created a comedic content series for the Priority app with a weekly drop aligned to each headline activity. Each episode saw roving presenter, Aurie Styla, try something he’d never done before. In week one, Go Explore, we live-streamed a talk with a National Geographic photographer and filmmaker. Week two’s Go Dine gave lucky customers the chance to win an exclusive Guinness-themed BBQ experience and overnight stay. To drive talk-ability beyond the Priority app, week three’s Go Green featured a living billboard in Shoreditch, accompanied by hundreds of posters made from wildflower seed paper which people could rip off, take home, and plant for themselves. For the final week, Go Spontaneous, we spearheaded a partnership with sober ravers Morning Gloryville, who offered Priority users a live-streamed virtual music festival featuring DJ Joe Goddard. Our Go Green billboard was widely covered across the Marketing Trade press and was named Campaign’s Ad of the Day, while our “Living Wall” tutorial became Priority’s best performing video ever.

Results

5 Thousand
new customers
1.86 Million
content views
989 Thousand
app engagements
Paper tiles

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Hosting a next-level gaming tournament

Opportunity

In recent years, gaming has quietly become one of the UK’s favorite pastimes. As the nation’s number one network, O2 had a natural opportunity to engage in gaming, facilitating great moments for its Priority customers at a time when they needed it most.

floor that says
group of gamers striking a pose

Approach

tms wanted to be as inclusive as possible and attract customers of all gaming capabilities. We created an experience that appealed to both avid and casual gamers, while simultaneously creating a pool of rewards that appealed to all O2 audience segments.

4 gamers striking a pose

Outcome

We developed “Level Up” — a campaign that appealed to esports enthusiasts and casual gamers alike with a diverse range of partners, tons of epic gaming experiences, and more invite-only moments than they could shake their controllers at. At the center, we brokered a deal with Belong Gaming Arenas to create a socially distanced gaming tournament called “The Level Up Showdown.” It featured two teams of the UK’s top gaming influencers captained by BBC Radio 1’s Chris Stark and former Inbetweener James Buckley, who went head-to-head in a gaming tournament featuring titles including Halo 3, Tekken 7, and Fall Guys. The tournament was streamed live on Priority and Twitch with customers who tuned in via the Priority app able to win over 400 prizes as the action unfurled.

Results

1.8 Million
views
1+ Million
engagements
77,150 Unique
Twitch stream views
7,000 New
customers to the app

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Samsung | Tribe

Solidifying Samsung Galaxy as the go-to brand for mobile gamers
  • Samsung
+ 3 3 more

O2 | Priority Level Up

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  • O2
+ 5 5 more

T-Mobile | T-Mobile Tuesdays

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Connecting with culture through partnerships: 4 secrets to successfully engaging Gen Z

Young people with arms raised

There is more conjecture in the media now as to how Gen Z differ to their predecessors, than we ever saw between their generational forbears. It’s hardly surprising given that Gen Z’s habits, preferences and interests are so intricately linked to a rapidly changing world where brands are no longer seen as interfering but culture defining.

From my experience working on partnerships between brands and cultural institutions looking to engage Gen Z, those that succeed have recognized that this generation is far more sophisticated in their world view than most brands have typically given them credit for.

For brands looking to engage Gen Z by operating in culture through partnerships, the road to credibility is fraught with obstacles as Pepsi and Kendall Jenner painfully discovered. Great examples of partnerships that have managed to traverse this successfully include:

  • Absolute Vodka and Stonewall, building on Absolut’s 35+ years of supporting the LBGTQIA+ community.
  • RedBull’s sorely missed Music Academy, which established an authentic role in supportof music culture.
  • Boiler Room’s ongoing ‘True Music’ campaign with Pernod Ricard, aimed at promoting lesser-known music scenes around the world to its huge global audience and reinvesting into them to support their growth.

As a 37-year-old, I regularly question if I am finally out of touch with youth culture and I doubt I’m the only one. What’s clear to me is that most of us seem to reach an age where we find it harder to relate to the younger audiences of today. They are the product of a different era and are fundamentally different to us. Just because we were 16-24 once, doesn’t mean we were Gen-Z’s once. We’ll never remember what it’s like to be them, because we never were them. Considering this, we must take a moment to really listen to and understand them but at the same time, respect them, age aside. Gen-Zs are becoming billionaires through tools older generations don’t fully understand and to that end we need to be collaborating with them on their terms, as well as ours.

With that in mind, here are four guiding principles we apply at tms for brands looking to successfully engage Gen Z through cultural partnerships:

1. Know your community and your audience. Genuinely listen to who they are and be interested.

This audience have a very fluid sense of identity that takes time to understand. They are often seen as being old before their time, family orientated, future focused, environmentally conscious, inclusive, mindful and having a healthy disregard of excess. For me, what sets them apart though, is their almost universal focus on creativity and personal growth in addition to a healthy desire to “get ahead” on their own terms. Brands looking to engage this generation should be considering how they can use their resources to help them grow both creatively and professionally.

2. Know yourself and what you stand for

Gen Z can sense contrivance a mile off. If, through a cultural partnership, your aim is to elevate and support them, make sure your actions and intentions resonate with your own brand’s stance first. From here, you then need to figure out how you can associate this position credibly with Gen Z culture or a particular aspect of it you’re looking to align with.

3. Support culture don’t exploit it.

Gen Z have a real affinity for brands that support contemporary culture. Their standards are higher than previous generations and they genuinely expect more. They want to see brands trying to make the world a better place by providing resources in areas and industries that need them. They don’t want to see brands simply making more noise and taking from culture without showing a true appreciation of its history or evolution to that point.

A recent project tms delivered with O2 Priority that has endeavored to listen, understand and create a cultural platform for Gen Z, is its partnership with No Signal a black radio station born out of the cultural void of the first lockdown that has seen wild success amongst Gen Z across 2020. Delivering a selection of masterclasses with prominent black artists, producers, song writers and broadcasters, the partnership’s aim is to create a platform for Gen Z to learn and upskill in these key disciplines.

4. Experience is everything

Gen Z have had the opportunity to engage with much richer and more immersive experiences than previous generations. The only way brands are going to get their attention is if they deliver something they’ve never experienced before, ideally with something they’ve never even heard of.

This is a cultured, tech savvy, highly opinionated generation, who know their worth and have voice. It’s important that brands wanting to reach them understand this and act accordingly.

This article originally appeared on Little Black Book.

tms wins gold at the DMA Awards for O2 GO

DMA Awards logo

Yesterday, we were thrilled to learn that our GO campaign for O2 Priority was awarded gold in the Utilities and Telecommunications category at the DMA awards.

The 4 week campaign saw us negotiate partnerships with fame-driving brands to deliver COVID safe, invite-only moments for Priority Customers centered around four headline activations: Go Explore, Go Dine, Go Green and Go Spontaneous.

It drove over 5,000 new customers and 5,000 lapsed customers into the Priority app, with 1.86million views of our app content and over 989,000 engagements.

Judges said that it was ‘a really creative and different way of approaching loyalty’ that ‘tapped into the brand’s ethos’ and had a strong insight at its core.

See the full list of winning work here.

tms London appointed as lead agency for O2 Priority

We are delighted to announce our new partnership with O2, who have appointed us as the lead strategic agency for Priority.

The win is one of a number of recent pitch successes for our London agency, who also added BoConcept, Vue, Petronas Lubricants and Warner Bros to their client roster over the past year.

Under the new relationship, tms (formerly The Marketing Store) will lead O2’s Priority partnership strategy, assuming responsibility for the acquisition of new strategic partnerships, as well as managing and developing existing ones.

This will see us work closely with O2’s internal marketing team, as well as their creative and communications partners to drive engagement with the Priority app.

Launched in 2011, Priority has existed as a loyalty programme exclusively for O2’s customers for almost a decade. It was the first of its kind within the telecommunications space, rewarding O2 customers with exclusive perks and experiences.

Priority continues to be the focal point of O2’s customer-first commitment, with tms (formerly The Marketing Store) blending our strategic and creative capabilities to deliver unique, invite-only moments to reward users.

Mark Watson, Managing Director, tms (formerly The Marketing Store) Europe said:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with O2—a brand that truly redefined the meaning and value of loyalty marketing—as they seek to evolve their iconic Priority programme in an ever-evolving sector.

Because we’ve witnessed first-hand how McDonald’s Monopoly has become the most anticipated marketing calendar event of the year, we know just how vital a part effective Partnerships play when it comes to customer-centricity.”

Maya Murrell, Head of Priority and Rewards O2 said:

“We’ve very excited to be working with tms (formerly The Marketing Store) as they share our commitment to putting customers are the heart of everything they do.

Priority is at the heart of our brand and is enjoyed by millions of O2 customers every year. We look forward to collaborating together and offering our customers even more exclusive experiences with our partners in the future.”

Customers can download the Priority app via the app store, or by texting PRIORITY to 2020. For more information, search Priority on O2.