In an attempt to push smartphone adoption in rural areas, Vodafone Romania took a lowly shepherd and turned him into an internet sensation by giving him a phone and a Facebook account.
Romania is a country of contrasts, with urban people being early adopters, but with 45% of citizens still living in the country side, using hay carts and horses and having never used the internet. Agency McCann Bucharest decided to show how technology can change somebody's life by giving, Ghita, a real shepherd living in a remote area, a smartphone and a tablet, and teaching him how to use social networks.
Ghita became a national star, with over 500,000 Facebook fans, appearances on national TV (including his own reality show) and a folk song composed especially for him. The European Commissioner mentioned him as an example of Romania's digitalization. As a result, the agency claims Vodafone tripled the gap between its main competitor, Orange, in best network perception and had sold more smartphones than ordinary mobiles for the first time at the end of the year.