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Heyah and its best early campaigns 2004-2005

July 22, 2009

Heyah is a pay-as-you-go brand of  PTC mobile network (or “prepaid brand” as we call it in Poland). PTC, which is partly owned by German T-Mobile, is currently the third biggest network in Poland and embraces three main brands: Era, Tak Tak (the first pay-as-you-go brand) and Heyah. Heyah was launched back in February 2004 with a massive advertising campaign which still remains a category benchmark for a successful introduction. The campaign was created by agency called G7 and planned by Optimum Media OMD.  Heyah was introduced by a teaser campaign which displayed only the extremely characteristic logo which is the red hand with a youthful graffiti-like typeface.

Heyah logo

Heyah logo

PTC’s strategy for launching the second pay-as-you-go brand was to create a very sharp image for this new brand and thus capture the very young target group which preferred the two rival pay-as-you-go brands: Polkomtel’s Simplus and Centertel’s Pop. After two weeks of teaser activities which involved mostly out-of-home media, ambient and internet, the new brand was officially introduced on March 13, 2004. 

Heyah launch - ambient campaign on balconies / 2004

Heyah launch - ambient campaign on balconies / 2004

The new brand used some premium locations to capture the media attention – e.g. the big red hand appeared also on The Palace of Culture in Warsaw, the most recognizable Soviet sky-scraper in the very center of the capital city.

Heyah launch - the red hand on The Palace of Culture in Warsaw

Heyah launch - the red hand on The Palace of Culture in Warsaw

The slogan that was used after the new brand was revealed was:  The pay-as-you-go alternative. The short and simple cartoon-like TV commercials were aired on TV and in cinemas. The new brand had a very distinctive visual style and used only red, black and white colors.

In the following spot Heyah greets its dear competitors, but the word “dear” in Polish has two meanings: dear and expensive

Heyah had the cheapest pay-as-you-go offer in Polish market when it was launched – it also started the one-second billing, communicated only gross prices (at that time all competitors showed net prices in their advertising), clear and simple pricelist, and focused on the very low-priced text messages (called “SMS” in Polish) which were highly popular way of communication among Polish teenagers. The launch campaign turned out to be a huge success as Heyah managed to attract over 1 million users in the first months after its introduction to the market. The campaign itself won several awards: Gold Cannes Lion 2005 (category: Media Mix) and Golden Effie Award 2005 – both received by Optimum Media OMD, the media agency that works for PTC.

In 2005 Heyah had some of its best advertising campaigns to date in my opinion. I’ll discuss below my two favourites. In July 2005 Heyah caused some publicity with its TV spot created as an alternative version of the famous fairy-tale “The Little Red Riding Hood”.  We don’t know how to tell fairy-tales  was a slogan of this campaign and it again strengthened the transparency of Heyah’s offer. The shocking and drastic ending of the spot caught the attention of the State Council for TV & Radio (KRRiTV), a governmental organization that supervises TV and radio stations in Poland.

The Council claimed that the idyllic mood of the first part of the spot attracts children who are then strongly disturbed by the accident of the Little Red Riding Hood. Heyah was forced to withdraw this spot from TV stations as its broadcast was banned by the Council.  A new version of the spot was aired later with black board and subtitles at the end. 

The next big campaign kicked off in the Fall of 2005 and was focused on a fictional character called Johnny 11 Fingers.  The main message and slogan of this campaign was: Be like Johnny 11 Fingers and check how it is when you always have 10% more. 

Johnny 11 Fingers - print lay-out

Johnny 11 Fingers - print lay-out

The TV spot which was made to look like a documentary film told the story of a Polish pianist from Podlasie area who was born with 11 fingers. Johnny moved to the USA with just 2 dollars, but soon after his arrival in New York he was spotted by Miles Davis and had a big time American-style career under his nickname Johnny 11 Fingers.

The narrator in the spots is Wojciech Mann, a very popular Polish jurnalist and comedian who is known for his thorough knowledge of jazz and rock’n’roll music.  The objective of this campaign was to promote Heyah Club, a loyalty programme, as members of this club always get 10% more to each topping of their account. This campaign also managed to win several awards, e.g.: Grand Prix of Złote Orły 2005 and Golden Watch award at Golden Drum ad festival.

Advertising Agency:  G7 Warsaw, Poland
Media Agency:  Optimum Media OMD Warsaw, Poland

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