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Vodafone SmartPass

Vodafone SmartPass




Winner European Excellence Awards 2014


Introduction of the first contactless mobile payment service

Vodafone set up a worldwide collaboration with Visa for the introduction of their mobile contactless payment service. After Germany and Spain, The Netherlands was the first country to introduce contactless mobile payments. It was up to Glasnost, to make this news as big as possible. There was one complication, as the big banks had already launched a beta product in the station of Leiden, six months before, which resulted in a very wide coverage. Thus, the only terminals in the country that accepted contactless payments were located in Leiden. Glasnost decided to go the extra mile to create a new image, but it needed more efforts.



  1. Get the key message in the media that the Vodafone SmartPass, is the first contactless and mobile payment service
  2. Realize a broad media exposure that reaches further than tech media
  3. Get people to order the Smartpass without above the line budget


In order to make the launch feel real, we changed the location from Leiden to something more unconventional. Glasnost therefore advised to host the introduction in the Berenstraat in Amsterdam, which is located in a trendy the 9 Straatjes are. With 34 small retailers in the street this was quite a challenge, but by doing so we showed to the whole of the Netherlands that contactless payments could be accessible to everyone. We developed a three-part strategy that all took place in this street.

For the first part, we invited newswires in the morning to interview the CEO. This time, it wasn’t hosted in a boring office building but in the first wallet-free street in the world. Next to a haring cart and street musician, that also accepted contactless payments, the CEO addressed the media. In the afternoon we invited consumer media for 1-on-1’s, in an exclusive coffee table book store, where they received a demonstration in the shop itself. In the evening 100 influencers, including the editor of chief of Esquire, and fashion bloggers were invited and were able to spend 60 euro in the street when leaving their wallet behind.


Sixty online articles, 45 minutes on television in nine different broadcasts, 300 tweets and seven articles were published in newspapers. Overall, the campaign resulted in a media value of over € 550,000. Months later the Vodafone SmartPass was still being mentioned by journalists alongside with PayPal and Apple Pay.


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