Meteor hopes to pick off some of O2′s carcass before Three finishes its takeover
It’s fairly par for the course for a company to tell you how they’re better than all the rest. Even specifically naming a rival is not uncommon in Irish ads – though it doesn’t happen all that often. So why has Meteor opted to build an entire ad campaign around one of its rivals, O2?
There’s a good chance you’ve spotted one of the TV spots, billboards or posters from Meteor, telling O2 customers they can get more for less if they move network. It promises a better package for a few euro less per month, and even throws a free smartphone into the bargain to push those tempted over the edge.
So why has Meteor taken the bold step of directing its message at O2 users specifically, rather than taking the old-fashioned scatter-gun approach?
It’s hard to imagine that Meteor’s campaign, to some degree at least, is trying to prey on any confusion that may exist amongst O2 customers as they wait to see what the Three takeover means for them.
Three has been busy rebranding some of O2′s assets in recent weeks – from the music venue formerly known as The Point Theatre to the logo on Ireland’s rugby jersey to the company’s headquarters on Dublin’s quays – but has yet to reveal much about its plans for the network’s actual customer base*.
And that lack of information is compounding the general vibe of listlessness that has been coming from O2 for some time now, thanks in large part to its former owner’s unwillingness to invest in a network that it was trying to sell off.
As it stands, O2 is now the only major network left in Ireland that does not offer a 4G service – and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of that changing on the back of Three’s takeover.
The network’s price plans are also woefully behind the curve set by its rivals – for example offering billpay customers just 700MB of data on its €35/m plan (compared to unlimited data on Three’s €25/m offering).
O2 is also currently offering a 32GB iPhone 5S on a contract for the same price as a 64GB iPhone 6 – which suggests a disjointed approach to its pricing structure.
So Meteor’s ad campaign is undoubtedly designed to play on this apparent lack of value and service, with the network hoping to snap up some customers before Three gets around to steadying the ship and – perhaps – giving it some direction.
Given that market share was the main draw for Three in its takeover bid, halting that malaise is something they may want to do sooner rather than later.
* About the only detail known at present, according to Three, is that the O2 network will be rebranded and all existing price plans will stay as they are (presumably until a customer switches to a new one).