New Delhi: After acquiring cult status in India, Zoozoos, the black-and-white creatures that made a spectacular debut in telecom operator Vodafone Essar’s ads, are all set to go global.
Vodafone, which operates in more than 30 countries, including India, the UK, Portugal, Australia, Qatar, Egypt, Italy and South Africa, is all geared up to make the lovable characters international, looking to increase its customer base while adding to brand equity as well.
“We had a conference a couple of weeks ago with all our businesses representatives and we actually gave quite a lot of time to what they have been doing here. Yes, we will get Zoozoos to other markets,” Vodafone Group chief financial officer Andy Halford told PTI.
He, however, declined to comment on the timeline and the countries where the Zoozoos will be introduced in. “They are not yet out. As an international group that is what we do, we will take the best of what is happening in different markets and take it to other markets,” Halford said.
The Zoozoos look like animated characters, but they are actual human beings, who were made to wear body suits. The Zoozoos shot to fame within days of launch and today have more than 1.23 lakh fans on social networking site Facebook. Vodafone Essar has over 136 million customers in India.
“They look like the aliens, they speak an alien language. But still people across age groups understand what they say and the brand messaging is very clear. That has helped Zoozoos become such a rage,” an industry expert said.
After acquiring Hutchison’s stake in Hutchison Essar in 2007, Vodafone unveiled its re-branding campaign with the endearing pug and a catchline. The pug was later replaced by the Zoozoos in 2009.
The ads were created by Ogilvy & Mather, the agency handling Vodafone advertisements to debut during the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.
Vodafone also received the first People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) 2009 Glitterbox Award, for replacing the Pug with more humane alternatives in their ads. The ads also won two Grand Prix, the top award, at the Creative Abby awards at GoaFest 2010.
The company has also licenced the characters for retail merchandise with Shoppers’ Stop to launch ZooZoo merchandise like T-shirts, cups, bed and bath accessories across the country.