Content comparison: @ThreeUK vs @O2, which is better?

I’m after your opinion folks, so get ready to hit that ‘Leave a Reply’ section at the bottom of this post.

This week I received a cake* in the post.

A cake with my face on it.


— yes, that is my actual face, on a cake —

This is piece of co-marketing material from both Three and Nokia pushing the unique selling point (USP) of the Lumia 925: the awesome low-light camera. The angle?


Why a cake? Well, it’s a carrot cake. Geddit…?

Anyway, the video that the leaflet directs you too is below, take a look –

OK, let’s park that right there.

Next up, we have this effort from O2. Their phone of choice is the Huawei Ascend P6. The USP? The super-slimness of the device. The angle?


Check out the video below –

Strategically, the two briefs for these could be almost identical –

Drive conversation and engagement around the DEVICE NAME by creating a funny and shareable piece of social media content that will stay true to [the] OPERATOR’s existing online tone of voice, while also highlighting the USP of our hero device.

The execution is obviously very different (plus the former had the additional push of some ‘influencer engagement’ in the shape of aforementioned baked product) but, the question to you, dear reader, is – which one do you prefer and why?

Both are funny in thei rown right, both pushing the USP of a hero device, both deliver the same message but in a very different way. I’m intrigued on your take on it so please, leave a reply below and let me know.



*I also received a hand-carved carrot featuring the Nokia and 3 logo. No, really. I didn’t eat that, nor did I get a photo (EDIT: photo uploaded as requested by carrot-carving fans), however the cake was really quite nice, so thanks for that. Why was my face on it again? 

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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

10 thoughts on “Content comparison: @ThreeUK vs @O2, which is better?”

  1. I was convinced that was Giorgio on the cake but now that I’ve had a better look I can see that it’s you 🙂

    I prefer the cake angle, because well, cake. I’m surprised by the carrot video; I thought it was going to be a funny video about nothing (I still don’t get the ‘be more dog’ thing). But I was impressed that it brings the story back to the functionality of the phone. That’s something I’m more interested in knowing about, rather than how it looks in my pocket.

    Also: if everyone can avoid showing the carrot video to my boy before he’s old enough to eat whatever he likes that would be very much appreciated.

  2. I haven’t understood the ‘Be More Dog’ campaign either. Not because I’m thick and I don’t understand the cat/dog switch is supposed to be funny, but because it’s pointless marketing to me.

    The O2 example above is also boring and scraping the barrel.

    The cake from Three was ingenious. Well executed, got your attention and made perfect sense.

    James Whatley Reply:

    I’m not sure the cake is clever, original, or inventive enough to warrant the ‘ingenious’ moniker. I liked the cake, taste wise, but I thought the link was pretty tenuous.

    What I find really interesting though is the different approaches by the two/four brands involved. As I mention in the post, the brief is ostensibly the same – so seeing the two responses is always good fun, and stimulating too.

  3. Well originally we wanted to carve your face onto a carrot, but the carrot artist we found (real thing) coudn’t do something so intricate in the time for all the people we sent these to, so instead you got face cake and a carrot URL!

    I do like the O2 idea too, the “visible trouser lines” thing is a clever way to play on device slimness.

  4. The O2 example does a better job at highlighting the product benefit to the user.

    3 should have focussed on what better image quality at low light ACTUALLY means – i.e. what has someone got to gain by having better night shots….

    PS: Have you got any cake left?…..

    James Whatley Reply:

    Good critique.

    (I brought it into the office, what do you think?)

  5. One video of people behaving like idiots vs 2.28 minutes of uninterrupted douchebag.

    Is it ok if I ignore both for trying too hard?

    Duncan Sample Reply:

    It definitely comes across as two companies trying to create a viral video. Neither of which work particularly well for a wider (normob) audience that don’t know what the feature they’re trying to highlight is.

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