UK telecom company Three’s viral pony has been galloping all over the internet at breakneck speed. Launched on 1 March in a TV ad, it’s since picked up more than 3.5 million YouTube views in six days for the UK’s fourth largest mobile operator.
What’s more, Three wants people to create their own dancing ponies and has provided a Pony Mixer tool to enable them to do so. People can choose from different musical genres such as rave, funk and boyband, to see their customised pony move and can then share it via social media. In a veritable internet meme pile-up, there’s already a Harlem Shake pony mix. Also with a view to prolonging the pony’s viral success, the company is floating the hashtag #DancePonyDance.
So what’s the point of all this? Three is attempting to celebrate ‘all the seemingly stupid stuff we look at online on a daily basis.’ While it ‘may seem silly,’ claims Three, ‘it’s not – it’s what connects us through the simple act of sharing.’
Results: Wieden + Kennedy London, Three’s agency, claims that the video generated 14,000 tweets within five hours of its internet premiere on Friday 1 March.
Why I’m curious:
When most operators differentiate either on price or network technology, this is an interesting approach for Three to address identity crisis and to differentiate itself from its major rivals. Whether this will help Three to establish an emotional bond with consumers and hence to assert itself in the sector and attract new customers remains to be seen.