Reboxing Day

Vodafone | Reboxing Day

1.5m households in the UK are digitally disconnected. To close the digital divide, Vodafone created the Everyone.connected initiative asking people to donate old devices. To get people to donate we needed to make people understand the human impact of digital exclusion, get them to care enough and then find the right moment when old devices become available. To do this, Vodafone rebranded Boxing Day as Reboxing Day, an idea that sought to return Boxing Day to its original meaning as a day of charitable giving and ending disconnection for over 127k people.


In a country where the number of billionaires hit a record high in 2021, 22% of the population lives in digital poverty. Digital access and skills are essential to enable people to participate fully in an increasingly digital society, and digital exclusion is inextricably linked to wider issues of inequality in society. But unlike food poverty, digital poverty is invisible; only 1 in 5 people believe it to be a societal issue. 

Vodafone wanted to change this and launched Everyone. connected; an initiative geared to provide digitally excluded people with free internet-enabled sim cards and a device. 

This campaign needed to: 

1. Make people understand that digital poverty is an issue 

2. Make people care enough to donate their old devices. 

The Big Idea

Shifting focus from Christmas to Boxing Day. We saw Boxing Day as our biggest opportunity to create cut-through and drive donations. 

30% of people were expecting a new laptop or tablet at Christmas. Whilst many of these devices were bought before Christmas Day, old devices did not become ‘available’ until Boxing Day. And Boxing Day was originally created as a day for charitable giving. 

We also found the emotive nature of Christmas advertising suddenly switched to being sales and promotion led on Boxing Day. We saw this as an opportunity to do something distinctively different. 

We rebranded Boxing Day to Reboxing Day. Reboxing Day was a campaign to return Boxing Day to its original purpose as a day of charitable giving to those less fortunate, more specifically, children who are digitally disconnected. This idea was about making a cultural and media moment to inspire generosity after weeks of indulgence. 

Making it Happen

Making it happen with ITV. The communications idea was born out of Carat. We had to then find a partner who could galvanise the nation and make it feel big. And for this we chose ITV. 

Working in partnership with ITV, we rebranded Boxing Day as Reboxing Day, a call to action to rebox and donate old devices. 

Fronted by TV celebrity Roman Kemp, we created 30” TV, VoD and social content where Roman spoke directly to camera to explain why digital poverty is a cause we all need to fight, and how no child should be left behind. 

The partnership included the creation of 10” blipverts counting down to Reboxing day in the two weeks prior. 

On the day itself Vodafone roadblocked ITV’s main channels. Vodafone introduced their Reboxing Day creative with an ITV Proud to Present intro spot. Roman wished ITV viewers a happy Reboxing Day and reminded them to send in their old handsets if they’d been gifted with a new mobile. 

The content spanned ITV, running across ITV1, taking over the ITV Hub Inventory and ITV’s social channels. 

Why media creativity? This idea went completely against the norms of advertising at Christmas by focusing on Boxing Day. When the ‘Christmasbowl’ is over, most brands turn their marketing efforts to ‘sell them fast, sell them cheap’ communications. Not Vodafone. We wanted to bring back a cultural moment and double-downed on emotion, when normally the brand too would switch to promotional messaging. 


Vodafone drove positive action: On the weekend of the Reboxing Day ITV takeover, 160k people went to the Vodafone website to find out more about how they could help and 20k donation kits were requested. 

In total the campaign connected over 127k people with free internet/new devices. 

Vodafone drove digital poverty up the social agenda: We saw an increase of 38% in understanding that digital poverty was a serious societal issue. The campaign also drove 181 pieces of coverage in mainstream media and 80 tweets from influential charities, politicians and NHS trusts. 

Driving brand consideration: Whilst, not a primary objective, Vodafone also saw a +4% in consideration over the Christmas period, double what it achieved the previous year. To put this into context, according to GFK data the Telecoms category rarely shifts consideration beyond 2%pp at Christmas. 

Lisa Walker

This campaign proves that purposeful marketing moves the metrics that matter as well as showing that brands can, indeed, be a force for good for the societies in which they operate.

Lisa Walker Head of Media, Vodafone UK & Ireland
  • Brand Led - Best Public Awareness Cause Campaign Brand Led - Best Public Awareness Cause Campaign Winner
  • Utilities & Telecommunications Utilities & Telecommunications Gold
  • Best Campaign for Technology & Telecommunications Best Campaign for Technology & Telecommunications Winner
  • Media Idea: £250K-£1M Media Idea: £250K-£1M Silver
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