Why T-Mobile’s no longer the sharing kind

Am I the only one to raise an eyebrow at T-Mobile’s decision to restrict video downloads and streaming to 500mb a month? Seriously?
For lest we forget, this is the brand that has walked away from ads about complicated tariffs, minutes and gigabytes and reminded us of the emotional benefit our ever-smaller, ever-lighter, ever-smarter phones give us. The brand that got Trafalgar Square singing, Liverpool Street Station dancing and Terminal 5 arrivals serenaded. The brand that reminded us that life is, indeed, for sharing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for greater transparency in this sector (we all know that unlimited Internet sounds too good to be true) and understand that for many consumers 500mb/month is more than enough. But it seems to me that this is a perfect example of the brand and the business operating in isolation and sending out very mixed messages as a result.
Surely a brand setting out its stall as a facilitator of shared moments and viral fun should have the product attributes to support it, especially in a world that is ever more connected and data hungry?
Brands such as Tesco and First Direct consistently build upon their brand promise, often with their actions speaking louder than their words or their ads. They give customers regular reasons to believe and deliver on those promises. And keep customers as a result.
There is no doubt that the T-Mobile campaign is enjoyable, memorable and indeed successful, apparently delivering a 12 per cent rise in sales the week after airing. But it would appear this disjointed business decision may undo Saatchi’s good work as the backlash from angry customers has already begun. It would appear that life is indeed for sharing – in this instance, angry tweets and tips of more generous deals from other mobile operators.

Emma Janson-Smith is head of planning at Meteorite

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