As some excitedly prep for back-to-school season, others nervously anticipate the change a new semester may bring. A new campaign for telecommunications brand Vodafone addresses such butterflies in a touching tale—that also happens to promote the brand's virus protection software.
The new spot from Grey London follows Aidan, the new boy at school. Although his mother assures hime that he’ll “be fine,” his first day is just the opposite as he struggles to find classrooms while mean classmates chuck wads of paper at him and refuse to sit with him at lunch.
At home, Aidan gives a half-hearted “yeah, good” when his mom asks how the day went and, to make matters worse, he can’t seem to pull up certain search terms on his laptop because of Vodafone’s Secure Net protection software.
The next day, students push and shove Aidan on the school bus, where he’s again sequestered to a lonely seat. His search is revealed: “How do I make a friend?,” which puts Secure Net to work blocking pop-up ads. A pig-tailed girl sees Aidan’s sorrow and sits next to him. “Let true connections happen,” announces a narrator. “Get digital protection and parental controls with new Vodafone Secure Net.”
“Every parent wants to raise their children to the world,” said Pedro Rosa and Roberto Kilciauskas, group creative directors at Grey London, in a joint statement. “But when it comes to the modern version of the old tale, that task becomes even more complex. If the digital world brings unprecedented freedom, it comes with some threats too.”
The sweet, somewhat awkwardly branded short was directed by James Rouse, known for both his compelling character work and his laugh-out-loud comedy. He recently joined the roster of Biscuit Filmworks. The spot will air for six weeks across TV, digital, radio, retail and social.