When I first saw the new iinet campaign where they claim to be the new No.2 in DSL Broadband, I quickly knew I had to write a blog post about how similar this campaign is to the great Avis “we’re no.2 so we try harder” campaign from the 1960s.
Fortunately, my friends over at Marketing Magazine have already covered this angle which frees me up to look a bit deeper into why this strategy will work for iiNet.
What message does “The New No.2” Send to Consumers?
The iinet case is different to Avis’ because iinet are “the new no.2” which is demonstrating social proof that iinet has grown big enough that it must be doing something right.
The fact that iinet is No.2 was a big surprise for me, as I am sure it is for a lot of people. When I left Australia in 2009, iinet were a small aggressive challenger, but in the few years since it it turns out they made some big acquisitions (Netscape, AAPT) that really put them on the market share map.
The new no.2 is a great social proof message as it shocks consumers into wanting to know why.
Why is Now a Good Time for a Social Proof Message for iinet?
With my Diffusion of Innovation theory titled The 16% Rule, I make the case that at around 16% market share brands need to change their messaging strategy from one of scarcity, to one of social proof in order to attract the early mass.
In September 2010, iinet announced that it had reached 15% market share of the fixed broadband market. By now they must be edging towards the magic 16%, so making the switch to social proof messaging is the best communication strategy they can take.
My favourite execution of the campaign is below. It is my favourite because of how the line “It took 18 years for this to happen over night” beautifully demonstrates my 16% rule theory that if you are going to achieve fast diffusion of innovation, the mass market really shouldn’t know about it for some time (Innovators and Early Adopters need to experience it first).