Here’s the VIVA ad this morning thanking the people of Bahrain for their welcome and for the unmitigated success of their number launch campaign:
and a couple of pages later we find Bateclo has taken the top half of the page with this:
Which is a deep poke in VIVA’s eye!
The background of this story is that when VIVA launched their number booking campaign, their servers crashed horribly for a few DAYS, allegedly because of the huge load they experienced with people trying to reserve their favourite numbers. That wasn’t a good sign at all, especially that VIVA claim that Broadband is their main product surpassing that of mobile telephony.
Batelco’s not letting them get away with it, of course, as with this ad, they’re reminding people that words are cheap and when the chips are down, VIVA already lost the battle because of that gigantic crash of their IT infrastructure, which, of course is the backbone of any Internet connectivity product AND that VIVA’s infrastructural reliability leaves a lot to be desired.
“The crash” is undoubtedly an extremely embarrassing event for VIVA, especially when you consider that they have advertised the number booking website (33.com.bh) very heavily and encouraged people to book through the web rather than go and wait in line for hours to book their favourite number.
While I have no doubt some heads must have rolled due to that royal fuckup, Batelco – and most probably every other telecoms company in Bahrain too – will never let them forget it.
What would you think is the best course for VIVA to surmount that embarrassment?
In my humble opinion, running “Thank you” ads, while admirable, is not enough. It’s time for VIVA to double their investment and more importantly redouble their effort into intelligent (and humble!) PR, backed up with solid and transparent messaging to regain the ground they’ve lost.
This is far from easy, of course, and it will require a lot of creativity and courage. Will VIVA have these required qualities? Time will tell. I know this though: with this new arrival, we certainly are living in an interesting times, with Batelco already scoring a win and it hasn’t even put it’s gloves fully on!