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How smart is Vodafone’s new strategy?

These furry monstrosities muttering Dutch, Double Dutch or possibly Womble, represent the front-line of Vodafone’s new brand positioning. Out goes the stuffy grandstanding calculated to appeal to Dad, in comes a warm, cuddly positioning designed to sweep the youth market off its feet.

The commercial may seem laughable, but the intention is not. Vodafone needs to be taken more seriously as a Web-savvy service, hence the imminent launch of Facebook-oriented 360 and the new Power to You slogan.

Like other mobile operators, Vodafone fears it will lose out in the next evolutionary twist of convergence technology – the smart phone. If it doesn’t act quickly, others like Apple and Google will steal all the glory. And the money. Leaving the once proud mobile operators “dumb conduits” down which others pipe their more valuable wares.

More on this in my column this week.

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