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Vodacom's bright hoarding around the top of Ponte City has been turned red, in keeping with other changes at the company as it undergoes a rebranding.
AFTER being dark for a month, the roof of Joburg’s famous Ponte City in Berea now shines bright red and white as part of Vodacom’s R200-million rebranding strategy.


A new adverting hoarding has replaced the old blue Vodacom sign at Ponte CityA new advertising hoarding has replaced the old Vodacom sign at Ponte CityThe cellphone company’s trademark and new advertising hoarding on the top of Ponte City was officially unveiled on Friday night, 1 April with lighting effects turning the Joburg skyline red. Its traditional green, blue and white corporate banner has been substituted for the vibrant red of British parent company, Vodafone.

Vodacom has also adopted Vodafone’s slogan “Power to You” and its teardrop emblem.

“‘Power to You’ isn’t just our advertising slogan. It’s a new approach and new direction for Vodacom,” said Pieter Uys, the company’s group chief executive. He noted that changes at Vodacom were not a “once-off”, and that more would be introduced in the coming weeks and months.

For about a month details of the new advertising campaign were kept secret, with Vodacom spokespersons ducking queries. Now rumours that Vodacom would swap its familiar brand in favour of the all red approach of Vodafone have proved true.

“The change in colour is the tip of the iceberg, just the outside indication of a much bigger change at Vodacom. Connectivity has gone from a convenience to a basic need and we need to turn our business on its head to make sure that we cater for this,” Uys said in motivating the change.

Vodafone is one of the world’s largest cellphone companies. It has a 65 percent stake in Vodacom. The government owns about 14 percent and the balance is listed on the JSE. Vodacom has 25 million subscribers, 9 million of whom are data consumers. As part of its new strategy, the company wants all 25 million to be using data in two years’ time.

“We currently have the most extensive network in South Africa, but we can’t stop here. We are going to more than double the number of Vodacom 3G base stations in the country, which will take connectivity to more people than ever before,” said Uys.

The company had altered its focus to be more network, service and value centric. “Our customers expect the best service to match our leading network. Delivering tangible value to customers is the third part of the new Vodacom customer promise and will be backed up by the introduction of new products and services,” he explained.

And as part of overall changes at Vodacom, buildings would be renamed, stores redesigned and new products introduced. There would now be one human resources department, one network group and one legal team.

“We’re rolling out totally redesigned stores to make the entire experience of Vodacom fresh and inspiring and we’ll of course showcase the latest technology. Customer service is also undergoing a revamp. By building on the success we’ve had, we’ll make it faster and more convenient to deal with us.”

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