Dear Phones 4U

Dear Phones 4U,

Thank you for making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

If, as I’m assuming, you were after my attention, then you most certainly got it.


Not only did you get my attention, but more importantly you managed to stop the ever-patient Mrs C, mid-flow.

In our house, she views the ad break as an opportunity to talk / reflect on plot twists and characters / get a cup of tea / do something else.

Whereas occupational hazards mean I have to try to pretend that I’m listening to what she’s saying / doing / asking whilst 70% (or more) of my attention is in fact devoted to watching the ads – with a perhaps unhealthy sense of intrigue / interest / disgust.

Given that I’m a captive audience, and should not be considered as a “normal consumer”, when an ad comes on that Mrs C pays attention to, it tends to mean that something significant is going on.

The recent Muller ad (who I facetiously thanked here) had a similar effect, although to be fair her response to that was, “What a load of old rubbish”.

When asked by me whether she might consider going to a Phones 4U as a result of the ad, the response was as follows:

  1. No – because she likes her current phone
  2. No – because she would wait until her phone broke (at which point she would call Vodafone – who presumably would be pleased but surprised to hear from her…she’s on Orange)
  3. No – because she would wait until Vodafone rang her up to tell her she was due and upgrade and do it through them
  4. No – because “you [meaning me] would sort it out for me”
  5. No – because she wouldn’t want to buy anything from anyone who thought that scaring their customers was a good thing to do – even if it was Hallowe’en

So quite a few barriers to purchase there, most of which you cannot do anything about I’m afraid.

But if inertia is your biggest problem (which on the nationally representative sample described above is the case), then I admire your attempt to shock people out of it…fortune favours the brave after all.

Good column inches and viral potential too.




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