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November 18, 2008
Orange France : penalty duel

To promote its football broadcasting service on Orange TV and Orange mobile, the French Telco just launched a very nice micro site.


It is a full window flash video, where Sebastien Chabal, a French rugby player, kind of an icon here, is about to shoot a penalty. Only for that he's gonna need your help. So, you are asked to fill in a form, with your mobile number. (Unfortunately it won't work outside France ...)
You then instantly receive a call, with Chabal asking you personally, to give him a hint, on which direction he should shoot. You can press a button on your mobile that will determine his shoot on screen right after.


And guess what ... he scores ! and thanks you for that.

The video is very well executed. The production reaches good standards of quality.
The set reminded me of the Adidas Jose +10 spot.
I particularly like the Morricone-like soundtrack, that obviously fits in.
Good enough (for a telco) the web-to-mobile application works perfectly well. And even if it is not new, and it has already been done, it still provides you some fun.

Chabal is acting quite well, which must have been a relief for the producers, as it is usually a challenge to make athletes play a role accurately.

Nevertheless, one can ask about the casting choice. Orange wants to sell football content, and is using a rugby player for that. Not that I am shocked. But it can clearly blur the lines.
The site gives a very good impression at the first sight, but then it clearly faces a lack of content, and takes the risk to be frustrating. It clearly has a recruitment objective, so once it has given you fun, it gives you the "opportunity" to be called for a subscription offer. End of it ? There is no description of the offer, not even a linkback to the Orange portal.
A little bit too short for me.
The send-to-a-friend application is very well thought, except your friend will not know who enrolled him, as it is not mentionned in the mail he will receive. The mail editing is awkward, as it offers "the chance to watch Chabal in a duel", and is signed by Chabal ...
Except, he is not the kind of guy to speak of himself in the third person !

But despite that, it is a good experience, created by Buzzman for Orange.

To go further :
Orange, in its very dynamic policy of development, has been recently moving very fast from a simple technology provider, to a content provider. In France, they have been involved in Football for many years now. They started as the official sponsor of the the French Championship in 2001, but most of all they bought its broadcasting rights early this year. A true earthquake in France , as they were the first non traditional terrestrian TV network to get the exclusive rights to broadcast the games. That also meant a smaller audience for the French Federation. Orange provided guarantees on a strong and aggressive recruitment strategy. But as the results slow to come, the Federation recently increased the pressure. No doubt Orange will react. This campaign is a small part of the answer. We will see if it performs soon.

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