The writing is on the wall for Vodacom’s “Daddy Cool” mascot, it’s time for him to step aside and make way for a red teardrop. That’s right, this Friday we will see the official re-branding of Vodacom’s corporate colours to match those of parent company, Vodafone.
The move has been met with mixed reactions from analysts such as Brigitta Cederstrom, head of ICT and Telecoms at Frost & Sullivan. “It’s good that re-branding is happening but they haven’t communicated well with the market. Vodacom controls over 70% of the market and I am sure they have done their research well,” she said.
The re-branding project, which has an expected price tag of approximately R200 million, was being kept under wraps until Vodafone filed a complaint against Cell C at the Advertising Standards Authority. This inadvertently leaked some details of the plans to standardise Vodafone’s brand in South Africa.
This change in branding comes as no surprise, as Vodafone (which controls 65% of Vodacom) has done the same thing in its operations worldwide. Vodafone African operations include branches in Mozambique, Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Tanzania.
“Vodafone follows a single brand strategy. By doing the makeover Vodacom is aligning with the strategy,” said Dobek Pater, an analyst at Africa Analysis. “Vodafone is a new brand in the country, however, it’s already known through its sports sponsorship and 3G cards,” he said.
By Angela Meadon