Industry Report: Marketing
The Marketing Strategy of a Mobile Operator, Arthur and the Minimoys
by Cartoon, the European Association of Animation Film
- Corinne Delfour – Orange/France Telecom Group
How is Orange positioned in Europe and the world concerning high bandwidth Internet?
Orange is the first supplier of ADSL access in Europe, the first supplier of IPTV, first mobile operator. Orange operates in France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Romania, Benelux, Poland, Moldavia, and Slovenia. We have a total of 160 million Internet subscribers. We operate on a multi-platform conception: Internet, TV and mobile. The strategy we are developing can be summed up in one phrase: content everywhere. Orange began investment in content a long time ago. The content serves to illustrate what Orange can offer the client.
How do you work with the producers and distributors?
Orange implements local partnerships or international partnerships. More and more producers across a large number of countries are keen for us to accompany them during preparation of their film. The distributors and producers have very little time for exposure of their works. After the first week of exploitation a film, which has not brought in enough receipts is taken off the screens.
Orange wishes to propose a great quantity of exclusive content on several platforms (Internet, TV and telephone). We stimulate our customers, our shareholders, our employees (180 .000 people). When content is shown on the mobile, only Orange clients can benefit from it. When content is exposed on the Internet, it is available to everybody. Our strategy is to work very upstream with producers, to develop a specific content for the promotion of their film.
We have partners at three levels.
First level: We work together with the distributor and the producer to activate mobile and Internet portals.
Second level: Orange can be implicated in communications media; publicity which brings popularity to the brand.
Third level: the film project is associated with a commercial campaign and our distribution network is engaged both directly and indirectly, for instance in setting the decors of our commercial outlets.
What is the basis of these partnerships?
The partnerships are based on the concept of exchange. The producers and distributors bring a certain quantity of content. Orange brings its portals; its databases, its access to a vast clientele, direct marketing. Orange valorizes all these services. For instance, the presence of a banner on the Orange site is valued at 150.000 € per day. Recall that, during December 2006, 14 million individuals accessed the Internet via the Orange site. Once the services on both sides are developed, we sign a contract known as a «barter deal». Orange and the partner exchange invoices of the same value, so that there is no outflow of cash.
Does Orange invest in the production?
Orange has created a production subsidiary, Studio 37, whose objective is to engage in co-production. Studio 37 buys all kinds of rights in co-production. The society has its own editorial line and has set as its objective the production of some 15 films per year. Naturally, Orange works with Studio 37, but does not exclusively promote films produced by its subsidiary. It may even happen that Orange does not take part in the promotion of Studio 37 films.
What was your work method to promote Arthur?
Arthur is a very large production; 85 million $. Arthur suffered from a real problem: it was very little known. This is a film highly centred on children. Therefore we worked on the popularity of the brand.
The first marketing resource is the mobile. We can insert editorial content to the portables. And work with the distributor and/or the producer to obtain everything that could be of interest to the public. Essentially what works best are images from the film. What absolutely must be planned are the trailer and the teaser. We have the video material 7 days before the cinema opening. We shall emphasize the trailer or an extract from the film (these are the products that work best). We all share the same interest that the trailer should be distributed across as many sites as possible, so we do not have exclusivity on this type of content.
On the other hand we work on the creation of «making of» exclusives, that is to say on a product specifically mixed and formatted for Orange, and which will be viewed uniquely on its brands. We develop modules of 5 or 6 «making of» of 2 minutes for mobiles, 5 minutes for the Internet and 13 minutes for television.
We seek to develop products with interactivity. For instance we had SMS chats with Luc Besson, who replied for an hour, live, to the questions of young people. And in addition the fans had the possibility of sending him a video message. Internauts voted on the ten best questions, which Luc Besson answered on a video released on the Internet.
We also organized competitions to augment traffic on mobiles and on the Internet. Further, there are the personalization products: screen backgrounds and savers, ring tones, dialogues. For this type of product Orange works via revenue sharing and passes a part of the net receipts to the rights holders.
Orange brings the audience (the main target of portables are in the age range 15-34). The mobile and the Internet are employed more and more as drivers of recommendations suggesting what the user will choose to see at the cinema. The cinema-goers are more sensitive to Internet information than to publicity on television.
We undertake direct marketing. Firstly we send SMS with links to teasers or to the trailer. Then we send banners included on our information letters. Orange has also created a community, moderated by our own teams and composed of 320.000 teenagers. Members of this community have a virtual room they are able to style in the decors created by the film’s graphic artists.
Can you generate revenue from the games and music?
Yes, we work on a model of revenue sharing. The trailer can be downloaded to the mobile and some games on mobile and on Internet are charged for.
What were the returns on the marketing campaign?
On Internet we had 750,000 video downloads and 1,500,000 hits. On the mobile we had 300,000 connections and 100,000 video downloads (among 3.5 million subscribers). On IPTV 330,000 people took part and finished the game, from a total of 590,000 subscribers. Arthur was viewed by 6 .5 million people in cinemas in France only.
Cartoon Master Freising, Germany, June 2007