Short List
Category C02. Messaging Campaign
Idea Creation HEREZIE Paris, FRANCE
Name Company Position
Andrea Stillacci HEREZIE GROUP Chief Executive Officer
Paul Marty HEREZIE GROUP Executive Creative Director
Etienne Renaux HEREZIE GROUP Executive Creative Director
Jeremy Fouilloux HEREZIE GROUP Copywriter
Jeffrey Corlay HEREZIE GROUP Art Director
Natan Ritaly HEREZIE GROUP Art Director
Raphael Sold HEREZIE GROUP Art Director
Hugo Dos Santos HEREZIE GROUP Motion Designer
Dimitri Boudnikoff HEREZIE GROUP Group Account Director
Justine Roux HEREZIE GROUP Project Manager
Camille Perrin FREE Chief Marketing Officer


Free, the second largest telecommunications company in France, continues its expansion throughout the country by opening more physical stores. One of which being a boutique on the Rue de Rennes in Paris, one of the busiest shopping streets in the capital. The problem? It’s not really the sort of news the general public are remotely interested in… The main aim was to generate impact and awareness locally via a strategically placed display unit to catch people’s attention. The secondary objective was to generate brand engagement and conversations on social media to generate impact and awareness on a national level.

Describe the creative idea

A week before the opening of their new store, Free placed a promotional display unit in the window, offering passers-by the chance to win an iPhone 11. To take part, they just had to send a text message saying: “Free is opening a new store in the Rue de Rennes” to make the phone in front of them ring. The problem was that Free didn’t tell anyone the number of the phone in question! So in the end, it was the passers-by themselves, who massively promoted the opening of the new store by sending the text to other random people in France…and all for free.

Describe the strategy

The double target, both local (passers-by and local residents) and national (anybody on social media) led us to a strategic, customized plan that would provide the simplest and most problem-free circulation of the text message, so that it would reach as many people as possible. With #FindTheNumber and its promotional window display, we invited people in the street to forward information by SMS in an attempt to win the telephone in front of them. It was simple, free of charge, unlimited (texts are included in all Free plans) and above all fun.

Describe the execution

The setting of the display unit in the store’s window played an essential role in the success of this operation. The iPhone, the prize, was set on a pedestal in the window display, illuminated by LED neon lights and a big screen on which you could read a simple call-to-action: make it ring and win it. The week before the operation, thousands of people outside the shop (and on social media) tried to win the telephone and in doing so, they shared the most important piece of information via SMS. A very simple, yet extremely efficient, means of communication, because it’s sent directly between individuals and is above all unlimited in all mobile plans these days.

List the results

With the #FindTheNumber initiative, Free pulled off a great stunt: thousands of text messages were sent throughout France and the opening of their Parisian store became a much talked about event. The operation received extensive media coverage, both on Twitter and by influencers, all for an unbeatable production cost of less than 3000€. Last but not least, the brand recorded 117% more visits than were expected in the first week.