O2 - Be More Dog

August 11, 2013

O2, a mobile phone provider from the UK, has recently released a new campaign called “Be More Dog”. The advert, which last week was the most shared viral video, stars a “coldly indifferent” cat who one day decides to become, quite literally, “more dog”. Chasing postmen, catching sticks, running through fields with other dogs, this cat adopts a new life philosophy that helps him break away from the everyday mundane.

O2 is using the metaphor of the ‘affected’ (and ultimately unfulfilled?) feline and the wide eyed, full of life dog to convey the joy we can find in experiencing the fruits of technology’s labour. 

More than this, it conveys a message of optimism, and living life to the full, at a time when people feel under more pressure than ever before.  Although the recent heat wave, and signs of economic recovery in the UK make us wonder whether O2 have either timed it brilliantly, or prompted a mass wave of optimism!  It speaks to our apathy, and our sense that we are no longer ‘delighted’, when we in fact have every reason to be.

What is the cultural relevance?

First world consumers are becoming immune to the wonderful things that surround us every day, and to the transformative role of innovation.  Advances in the technological, economical and social aspects of our lives should leave us with a sense of fulfillment, but instead we are untouched.  New developments that may once have amazed us now barely get a second glance. New models are released almost daily and we are bombarded with upgrades and updates. We have a new app for almost every situation and it’s becoming difficult to keep up, let alone take the time to appreciate the wonder of what the product or service can do for our lives.

How does it connect to the offering?

One of the options in the “Be More Dog” campaign allows consumers to update not just their software, but also the entire phone when a new one is released (if they want to pay the little extra for this benefit).  In this way, O2 is helping us stay on top of these little technological advances that make us feel disconnected and left behind. It is a way of making our lives simpler so we are able to sit back and enjoy the amazing things in the world around us. Simpler in that O2 can connect your laptop to your tablet to your smartphone, and you can receive calls on all of them. The ability to turn on your heating, change the dimness of your lights and even blast the speakers in your lounge room, are also perks of this campaign.

What does it mean for brands?

It highlights the disruptive power that a strong emotionally led execution can play.  It works at one level, talking to a world so full of new features and benefits that we can lose sight of jobs they do, the problems they solve, and the benefits they provide.  It also works at a second, more emotive level, speaking to our desire to live life to the full, be optimistic and cast-off the gloom and doom, to get out there and enjoy, live, and explore the world with enthusiasm – what better way to position a telecom brand as one all about connection with the world?