WOM: Success by breaking rules

WOM: The story of one digital marketing campaign that reaches both: a unique and creative brand position and harsh social critics in a conservative country.

The risky decision of WOM

From the moment that Chris Bannister (CEO of the company) arrived to Chile, he decided to compete in the Market of Telecommunications. WOM would definitely had things to say.

It was on July 2015 when WOM took the chance to participate in a very competitive market. Chile is not a big economy and most of their industries are lead by a constant trio competitors: three pharmacies, three supermarkets and three telecommunication companies. Either way, Bannister took the risk and went for it with narrow possibilities of success.

CEO of WOM Company
Chris Bannister

Reason of success 

Advertisement in Chile is not creative. It’s hard to find an innovate way to capture the attention of customers, specially when the offers of companies are similar.

WOM chose a powerful and unique digital marketing campaign. They bet on honest and daring publicity that gave them exactly what they wanted: Word Of Mouth (WOM). Months before the business started, they collapsed all digital and traditional media channels, creating awareness and curiosity. Every single person in Chile was talking about it.

With slogans such as: “You will stop to be a virgin” or “Your way much more than a number”, WOM created huge expectations that something new and interesting was coming. The advertisements were every time more direct and rare. The pictures not only had a huge visual impact, but also a free pass for sexual jokes and the release of erotic topics such as girl-on-girl relationships, virginity and debauchery.

WOM Campaign slogan: You are more than a number.
You are more than a number.

Showing themselves as a brave and naughty brand, they gained the affect and trust of many users instantly. They understood for which segment they would be relevant and created a value proposition according to their needs. Some of them were: low-cost plans, stable 4G and great customer service in attractive plans. It was a matter of time that they reached top of mind and heart in the Chilean society.

Colateral effect

Even though WOM is the leader of the industry, has 3 millions clients and an investment of US$500 millions, they faced some trouble for their “sexist and low ethic” advertisement strategy.

CONAR (Council Of National Self-Regulation and Publicity Ethics) of Chile, said that WOM’s communication campaign was not only sexist but also denigrating for women. It was very explicit and not relevant for the industry in which they compete. No legal demand was actually made, but it caused problems for their image. They justified the purpose of their campaign risking their customer’s relationships with the brand.

WOM finally lowered the intensity of their advertisements, avoiding more legal conflicts without loosing their essence. This action help them to grow even more in market share.

WOW controversial print ad.
WOW controversial print ad.

Conclusion

WOM is a company who knew how to hit a complicated market.

With a dynamic, different and mind-blowing digital marketing campaign, they became leaders in a very competitive industry. They won loyal customers that not only ignored there legal complications, but supported their strategies, products and services.

They responded and gave their customers what they promised: aggressive prices and service and different commercial offer.