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28/02/2011 by

How Complains Generate Consumer Insights?

Dutch mobile operator Ben has launched a campaign where it asks mobile phone users to share the troubles they experience with their current mobile provider. With this data Ben will be able to improve its own business and the obtain valuable consumer insights.

What’s in it for the candidates? A complete buy-out for the rest of the contract. If you are living in the Netherlands, that is. With this new “Ben Verlost” (Am Liberated) campaign, Ben is making nifty use of social media and of course is pinpointing the real pain in the neck for probably  a lot of cell phone users.

What’s the deal. The Dutch can now share their agony on Ben’s YouTube channel. The most awfull, sad or painful stories will be transformed in a movie, and you know what? Ben will buy-out the rest of the contract, leaving you as free as a bird.

It’s unclear if this creative campaign will be succesfull. For now the company has been seen on Youtube’s frontpage and further advertising efforts doesn’t seem to be there. So what’s the fruit of the lawings after the launch on 02-25-2011 till now (02-28-2011)?

  • 1 uploaded user video
  • 1 demo video with 242 views
  • 10 subscribers on their YouTube channel

Unfortunately Ben’s solution works only for Dutch citizens with an one-year contract. Folks with a longer subscription and/or with having a foreign mobilephone contract need to sit the ride out. The campaign will run till March 27 of this year. 


The brand name Ben has a connotation in it. Next to the noun form, is “ben” also the Dutch verb for Am or Be. So the trick with the “Ben Verlost” campaign is the dual meaning like,(I) Am liberated. The company was quite successful between her launch in 1999 till 2003 to the point where T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom) bought it.

The company targeted her services to consumers who didn’t want to use big (foreign) providers and were perhaps a bit chauvinistic or were using their cell-phone primarily for phone calls instead of (heavy) data transmissions. Additionally the pricing and product strategy (low costs and no nonsense servicing) appealed to quite a large group of Dutch citizens, as they are known for their price consciences.

As in the old days Ben positions herself as a personal brand with an own identity. She communicates towards her target group from first-person perspective. Through this way the brand emphasizes on a strong company-client relationship.  To stimulate this Ben always portraits ordinary ‘just like us’ people in their commercials.

What about the “Ben Verlost” campaign?  Will this work? Share your opinion with us!


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