Singapore, 19 February 2002 - StarHub, Singapore's leading info-communications provider, announced today that its Sparky campaign has been nominated as a finalist in the "Best Marketing Campaign" category for the 2003 GSM Association Awards. These awards were held in conjunction with the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France. StarHub was also a finalist in the same category with other Singaporean operators for their "MMS Market Making" Campaign.


Inaugurated in 1996, the GSM Association Awards offer the global mobile industry the opportunity to showcase the latest wireless products, services and initiatives. The awards are unique opportunities for the global community to recognise the major landmarks and achievements of the past year. They also recognise and highlight the contributions of individuals in the global development and success of the world's leading wireless standard. This year's Awards programme attracted over 360 individual entries from all over the world.


For the "Best Marketing Campaign", judges were on the look out for entries that created a single, powerful brand concept in the marketing of wireless products and services to consumers. The entries also needed statistical evidence of increased awareness, take-up or revenues for the services/products marketed within a given period, measured against a set of campaign objectives. Other judging criteria included the strategic execution of the campaign, creativity and message clarity.


"The Ringing Dog" Campaign

StarHub's "The Ringing Dog" Campaign clearly met all these criteria. It was a major hit with the public as it revolved around a cute and mischievous Jack Russell terrier named Sparky, who unwittingly swallowed a StarHub phone. The campaign showed Sparky's owner giving chase all over Singapore as the phone dutifully rang in every nook and cranny around the island, thanks to StarHub's improved mobile network coverage.


This campaign was launched after the January - March 2002 study by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, which showed that StarHub had achieved perfect scores in three Quality of Service categories and an improved 99.98% mobile coverage. The campaign used warmth, humour and interactivity to cultivate a positive attitude towards StarHub's mobile network quality.


Campaign Execution

StarHub kick-started the campaign with a "Missing Dog" teaser press advertisement. This raised much public curiosity. Shortly after, StarHub launched a series of advertisements, in the form of a newspaper article, reporting sightings of Sparky at different locations. These tactical advertisements featured the various places where Sparky was spotted, and it also carried a "Where's Sparky?" SMS contest where participants will win prizes for correct entries. Over 11,000 entries were received within two weeks.


In the television commercials, viewers saw Sparky swallowing the mobile phone before running away. The scenes where Sparky roamed and rang were evidence of StarHub's excellent mobile network coverage. Bus, taxi and MRT advertisements also sustained the campaign message. In addition, StarHub also installed mobile phones in taxis for passengers to make free local calls, to demonstrate StarHub's confidence in its coverage and network quality. This garnered much positive feedback from surveyed passengers as over 90 per cent of them found the free call service very useful.


Roadshows were also held in suburbs where over 2,000 participants amongst thousands more visitors tested StarHub's improved mobile network against the other local operators. Seven out of ten challengers could not differentiate among the three operators. Radio and press advertisements communicated the Challenge roadshows as well.


Surfers could also visit StarHub's corporate website at to download Sparky wallpapers, screensavers, pictures and ringtones. Some 4,400 Sparky downloads were recorded in August 2002. A story-writing contest also encouraged fans to express their "encounters" with Sparky.


"Overall, the very interactive campaign brought about the desired results for StarHub. The post-campaign research for "The Ringing Dog" campaign showed improved ratings on public perception of StarHub's coverage and network quality," said Ms Joanna Chan, Assistant Vice President for StarHub Mobile's Marketing. "We are very honoured to be nominated as a finalist. With this nomination, we are motivated to continually challenge the norm, to think out of the box in delivering more innovative marketing campaigns. We thank the GSM Association for their tremendous support and global recognition of our pioneering spirit."


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