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15 April 2019

Refocusing on core values.

by Jason Stone


giffgaff: “#choosegiffgaff” - 60s

'Choice' has always been the most important word in giffgaff's marketing and their latest commercial has the idea of 'choice' at its heart. Blink's Fred Rowson - who wrote and directed the film - has provided the telecoms rebel brand with a bright and breezy piece of work which helps to reinforce the core message.

It's six months since the company found themselves at the centre of the social media storm generated by their 2018 Halloween commercial which - according to those who took offence - offered a jaundiced look at adoption. In reality, only those looking to take offence were able to do so, but - with outrage able to move at the speed of light these days - there was no way for for giffgaff to stem the bilious tide of criticism and they sensibly withdrew the film. For a company which prides itself in having a sophisticated and tight-knit relationship with its customers, it was a considerable setback, and the next significant piece of communication always seemed likely to err on the side of caution.

giffgaff's Abi Pearl - speaking on the day the film was launched - acknowledged that the company had thought long and hard about the offence caused by their Halloween film, and that coping with the backlash had been "traumatic". But she also said that the company remained "very confident about its point of view" and stressed how important it was for giffgaff to continue to be "brave". The trick was to balance this desire for bravery against the need to take the Halloween criticism "on the chin" and making sure they were being "responsible about what they're making".

As an admirer of Fred Rowson's work, Abi Pearl had earmarked him as someone giffgaff wanted to work with at some point and this project provided the perfect opportunity. Rowson was given an invitingly open brief: "they wanted to refocus on the idea of a network 'run by you' and explore what that means to its customers". Beyond that, he was given a blank canvas. Rowson wanted to create something which reflected the current mood of uncertainty in the world... with everyone feeling so stressed at the moment, he feels there's value in a brand which hasn't got "its head buried in the sand" and feels that its mantra of giving control to the individual is one that's likely to resonate now more than ever.


Creative Agency: giffgaff Ⓦ
Head of Advertising: Abi Pearl Ward
Head of Social: Layla West
Creative Director: Fred Rowson
TV Producer: Tracy Stokes @ giffgaff Ⓦ / Like-Minded Individuals Ⓟ Ⓦ
Film Production: Blink Ⓟ Ⓦ
Director: Fred Rowson Ⓟ Ⓦ
Producer: Corin Taylor
Production M'ger: Abi Jones
Cinematographer: Jaime Feliu Torres
Wardrobe: Kate Forbes
Editor: Sacha Szwarc Ⓟ Ⓦ @ Speade Ⓟ Ⓦ
Film Lab: Cinelab London Ⓟ Ⓦ
Post Production: Louise Unwin @ MPC Ⓟ Ⓦ
Colourist: Matthieu Toullet @ MPC Ⓟ Ⓦ
Sound Designer: Dugal Macdiarmid / Martin Leitner @ Wave Ⓟ Ⓦ
Music Supervision: Eclectic Ⓟ Ⓦ
Music: I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.