The phone’s for you. It’s Skype calling reminding you the art of conversation is not dead.
Earlier this week Skype unveiled a new $12 millon dollar ad campaign by agency Pereira & O’Dell that will encourage people to reconsider how they stay in touch with loved ones. Targeted at U.S. and U.K. consumers, the new ad campaign will be displayed in London subway stations, airport terminals, and also online through 17 important networks including BBC, CNN, MSN, AOL and Yahoo.
The ads feature the slogan “It’s time for Skype” and present provocative lines such as “140 characters doesn’t equal staying in touch” and “When did it become OK to text Mum happy brthday?”. The advertisements not only downgrade the quality of communication offered by networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but they also raise a mirror to a culture that has become overly automated and lacking real human contact.
Justin Cox, senior strategic planner at Pereira & O’Dell, said they came up with the idea for the campaign after agency research revealed how infrequently people call friends and relatives. Cox spoke on the unique communication message of the campaign: ”It’s rare that a campaign gives you the opportunity to address very relevant, timely cultural issues… This is more than just a marketing message with provocative headlines – our message is to help people truly connect in a genuine way.”
The online portion of the campaign will complement the advertisements featured in the initial outdoor push, but will not contain the same bold statements. Instead, the digital campaign will emphasize the different product offerings and present soft reminders of the meaningful connections that people have experienced with Skype.
Francie Strong, director of global customer-base marketing at Skype, said: “A lot of people have great stories to tell about using Skype with friends and family, but they often see us as a one-dimensional product. We’re proud of our video calls but we also want them to know about our other products: screen-sharing, group video, file-transfer, instant messaging, calls to mobile and landlines. The combination of features allows a more natural conversation.”
This mission to help people maintain meaningful connections is certainly not a new agenda item for Skype. Just this past December Skype offered free WiFi in 60 U.S. airports from December 21st through December 27th so that travellers passing through or experiencing delays could stay in touch with family over the holidays.