How MTN launched the iPhone RIGHT!

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*Disclaimer – I was not at the launch for either MTN or Vodacom. Neither did I get an iPhone or do I have one. This is purely with regards to marketing tactics and online reception of the launch.

MTN South Africa threw Vodacom a major curve ball yesterday [21 September 2010] with the launch of the iPhone 4 in South Africa. Heres what I mean:

Firstly MTN launched the phone to selective journalists and online media people, who in turn started tweeting about it and also using the hashtag that MTN created. The hashtag fell in line with MTN’s marketing strategy – Ayoba MTN and made finding information on the iPhone easier. #iYoba rocked the twitterverse in SA during the late afternoon.

Not only did MTN beat Vodacom on that point they also were able to then share information on the phone and its availability in South Africa to the audience who would most likely want the phone – the online community.

Secondly they made sure they targeted the ‘right’ people. In other words not every Tom, Dick and Harry were invited to the launch party and neither were every Tom, Dick and Harry given the phone. It was tech journalists, online media and people who understood the capability of the iPhone and what it meant to South African users addicted to being online.

Thirdly their campaign tied in across the board. They pulled Ayoba into it appropriately with the #iYoba, they gave phones with Sims and airtime loaded and they showed that with free wifi access the phones capabilities rocked. That’s a complete campaign in one. Its your networks, your providers and your facilities all rolled up into one.

This is something all of us can learn from and the campaign left its mark with people already tweeting they moving over to MTN due to information received and also the cheaper package prices.

See some screengrabs of tweets below:

Something to learn from!

Twitter #iYoba

11 Comments to How MTN launched the iPhone RIGHT!

  1. Am sorry to say this ,but branding dynamics are changing.The same every Tom and Dick are the ones that populate the social media platforms and of the millions of so MTN subscribers ,so targeting those chosen few was not a good stratergy at all. Thats was just another tried and tasted formula they used coz they still believe in it. I retweeted your Twitter link with this without reading first ,otherwise i am also another Tom and Dick who should have retweeted the Vodacom tweets ,where we are welcomed.

  2. Tendai, I agree with the actual post. I'm upset that I didn't get a free iPhone, but I'm even more upset, that Vodacom, launched exclusively at Vodaworld in Joburg. They had a major party but not every one who attended, are actually people who will be buying the iPhone 4. All apple stores today have iPhones available, on MTN contracts. Which means Vodacom didn't really launch the phone. They sold exclusively, at head office, for one day. Plus, for vodacom it's just another phone coming out, with a launch that seems like it was forced last minute in response to MTN instead of innovation happening.

  3. WTF are you talking about? Everyone online in SA now hates MTN because they chose only a few shallow and boastful online individuals to wax lyrical.

    One (well known) brandwh… blogger was slagging MTN off left right and centre until ever so recently, but they still flew her up from CPT and gave her a nice package (so to speak).

    OhMiGosh – those tweets and post have disappeared.

    Hypocritical much?

    It's shoddy, almost desperate marketing using shoddy, almost desperate bloggers etc and if it really did one over on Vodacom, then they must be utterly, UTTERLY useless.

  4. Tendai, I understand where you are coming from and what you are saying but my view above is based purely on marketing and advertising tactics of a phone which is blowing up a storm across the world.

    The iPhone is generally out of the league of most South Africans [including me] and is targeted internationally to those who want to be online.

    MTN's strat shows they understand this and understand the consumer market. While Vodacom showed a lack of understanding on that part.

    I am not saying that you are entirely wrong but MTN does bring it home to the people in various sponsorships and parties.

    I am not agreeing on everything MTN does but rather looking at this launch and purely this launch.

    How many of the people present at the Vodacom launch would be able to afford paying R950 a month over two years for the iPhone?

    Definitely not me and I am a Vodacom subscriber.

  5. I reckn both brands scored and missed


    Vodacom created the hype and started the coversation

    MTN – Made sure everything was in place before hand


    Vodacom didn't have enough stock if the rumors are true. and they could have co-ordinated it better.

    MTN – Made it borgeois and licked ass by the same people as always

    Overall MTN did have a better strat, but Vodacom knows it's people. but both brands lack follow through and I reckon its more management that is still scared of the "internets"

    My 2cent for what it's worth

  6. Tendai you probably work for Vodacom –

    MTN did an awesome job, really.

    Vodacom – what hype? Just tripe and Yebo Goggo

  7. Sorry, I agree with ZK. If you understand marketing you need to launch and market to the consumer who actually understands and can afford the product in this case the phone. MTN GOT IT SO RIGHT. Im a Vodacom subscriber aswell but sorry 2010 MTN is kicking Vodacom on the marketing front. I bought the phone today from MTN and the experience and follow through was great. Loving my Iphone4 on the MTN network. iyoba experience!

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