Page 4: Vodafone and David Beckham
David Beckham is more than a footballer. He is also regarded as a fashion icon, a caring family man and a nice guy: an overall image that attracted Vodafone to him. Beckham’s popularity with football fans comes largely from his England team captaincy. As a footballer, he is well regarded around the world. Other young men who might aspire to his success and style also tend to identify with him. He appeals to many females because of his reputation as a fashion and lifestyle icon. He is also married to a female icon in her own right.
Vodafone’s sponsorship of the Manchester United team appeals to a broad section of the global football/sports audience, whereas aspects of Beckham’s broader image have grown to appeal to a much wider section of society. That suits Vodafone, who needs to appeal to different segments of the market.
Beckham’s healthy lifestyle allied to his talent suggests an energy and a controlled passion for life; an image that Vodafone would also like to project for itself. On a football field, Beckham is innovative, creative, exciting; characteristics that Vodafone aspires to. Beckham the family man comes across as caring and empathetic; Vodafone wants people to appreciate that it too understands and cares about what people want and need. Beckham is generally seen as dependable; Vodafone wants to communicate a similar image. The synergy is clear.
Beckham is supporting the campaign to promote Vodafone live! in the UK and in other markets. The UK campaign shows Beckham doing everyday things: a happy, relaxed, competent shopper sending pictures and accepting a message to remember to buy eggs. At the same time he is also clearly demonstrating what Vodafone live! can do.
The TV campaign has been a huge success. Many people have seen it and can recall the adverts. The campaign captured the imagination of the press, and many newspapers covered stories about Beckham’s sponsorship deal. Slogans such as ‘Send it like Beckham’ help to further promote the Vodafone message. Beckham’s image is also used on a variety of other customer communications including in-store posters, billboards, in the company’s magazines and catalogues and in leaflets mailed to customers.