The Millennium starts again

The launch of the revamped Millennium Dome as The O2 comes with a £6.5m advertising campaign paid for jointly by O2 and owners AEG Europe, and the results certainly looked spectacular when journalists got their preview a couple of weeks ago.

The statistics are impressive enough, but we’re particularly interested in the way O2 has approached the sponsorship – and extended the idea of ‘sponsorship’ into genuine benefits for and relationship with its customers. Yes, The O2 gets O2’s name and that dark blue branding in front of a lot of people; but importantly there are a lot of perks for existing customers at the venue.

Content – exclusive eventrelated content in advance of a show (interviews with band members, rehearsal footage, facts and articles about the bands, etc.)

Priority ticketing – up to 10% of tickets will be available to O2 customers up to 48 hours before they go on general sale.

Fast track entry for O2 customers via special blue lanes.

O2 blueroom bar – a designated area for O2 customers and up to three friends, accessed via digital ticketing (O2 customers can text ‘BLUEROOM’ to 60202 to receive a barcode)

O2 Lounge – a funky, uber cool space for O2 customers only, accessible via a text-message draw The O2 Cocoon – O2’s new handset “developed specifically for the style led consumer” interacts with The O2, changing to a welcome wallpaper when visitors arrive and providing extras like a venue map.

The long-term results remain to be seen, but O2 sees the investment as “the biggest and most visible articulation of the company’s strategy to continually seek new ways of creating great experiences for its customers” – which in turn will create “significant customer loyalty” and “emotional linkage” to O2.