Unlock a Phone, Unlock a Chicken

SIM-only mobile network, giffgaff, has launched a campaign in partnership with Wood Green, the animals charity, to unlock battery hens every time someone unlocks their phone and joins giffgaff.

The partnership – the first of its kind for a mobile network – will see giffgaff donate £4 to Wood Green to cover the costs of re-homing a battery hen for each person who unlocks their phone and joins giffgaff. The Unlock a phone, unlock a chicken campaign was created and executed by Albion London.

A series of banner ads launch today which explain that “Every time someone unlocks an phone and activates a free giffgaff SIM…a battery hen gets a new home!” The ads will appear on websites including eBay and Facebook, and will initially run for four weeks. The banners will feature on giffgaff’s website and 43,000 strong Facebook fan page, where there will also be a bespoke ‘Chickens’ SIM ordering tab to allow fans to order a SIM and unlock a chicken directly on Facebook.

The Unlock a phone, unlock a chicken creative platform follows in the footsteps of the Unlocking your phone isn’t illegal, this is campaign which launched in May after research revealed that 28 per cent  of mobile users were unsure if unlocking was legal.

Tom Rainsford, giffgaff’s head of brand and proposition, says: “Inspiration for the campaign came after new community members start talking about the great sense of freedom they felt when they left their contracts and joined giffgaff. It then occurred to us that people locked in contracts are a bit like battery hens stuck in their cages and Unlock a phone, unlock a chicken was born.” (I have just checked the press release, and this is what Tom said, in case any readers are wondering – Ed.)

OK, its easy to mock, but on a more serious, and slightly less cynical note, Albion CEO Jason Goodman says: “We’d been aware of the plight of battery hens, who are kept in cages no bigger than a piece of A4 paper, for some time, and wanted to do something to help. When we realised that many consumers often use the analogy of feeling like battery hens to describe being locked into contracts that they are unable to break free from, the creative thinking behind this campaign began with the focus of finding a mutually beneficial solution for both.

“We wanted to highlight that consumers can do well, by doing good – the campaign will help save consumers money and at the same time give hundreds of battery hens a better life. giffgaff is all about empowering consumers and Unlock a phone, unlock a chicken is the perfect conduit to do this, in a revolutionary, radical and truly giffgaff way.”