MARKETER OF THE WEEK
Dialling the way to a new EE: Pete Jeavons
EE is making massive play to try and shake up the telecoms market. We shine a spotlight on the group brand and consumer marketing director leading the brand's transformation
26 October 2023
Some 11 years ago EE launched, propelling itself into a thriving mobile telecoms sector. In 2015, the business was bought by BT and just last year it was announced that EE would replace BT as its flagship consumer-facing brand. Last week, the EE brand unveiled a landmark shift toward platform services, expanding its offering from selling traditional telecoms to become an open-access platform that will support consumers at home, at work, and when they’re learning or gaming. A radical evolution of a brand in a rather saturated telecoms sector.
Step forward Pete Jeavons - the group brand and consumer marketing director who has helped grow the brand from infant to a pioneering adult. Jeavons has been with EE for more than two decades, having formerly worked on both the Orange and T-Mobile brands and helping to launch the EE brand itself. In this time, he's been responsible for BT and EE’s sponsorship portfolio; BAFTA Film Awards, Glastonbury Festival and Wembley Stadium and the FA Partnership. Before this he was head of brand strategy at EE and led the highly successful creation and delivery of the EE brand and the ongoing strategy that resulted in it becoming market leader in the UK.
Jeavons is also the man behind the much-lauded ‘Hope United’ campaign that brought together 21 footballers, including Marcus Rashford, Lucy Bronze and Jordan Henderson to educate the nation on online hate, via a digital skills platform.
In recent weeks, EE has gone a step further, leaving Kevin Bacon-led ad campaigns and traditional telecoms behind to unveil a momentous shift towards platform services. It has expanded its offering with new areas of focus to include gaming, insurance and security which do not stray too far from its core connectivity roots.
This latest move represents a radical and fundamental shift in thinking and approach in the way a telco operates. The new EE aspires to be a broader tech and services retailer - a move that is being hailed as a major brand and business transformation story.
The rebrand has also debuted with the biggest marketing campaign EE has ever launched. Working alongside Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, Digitas, Boomerang, Publicis•Poke, Zag and Prodigious, the relaunch has been over two years in the making.
“It’s been quite a journey,” Jeavons said. "But it’s worth the wait - such brilliant, brilliant thinking, planning and work to carry EE into its next chapter.”
Jeavons and his team have devised a fresh new brand to play a larger, more important and more personal part in customers' lives. It hopes to revolutionise customer experience “beyond connectivity”, and offers a wide range of new products, services and experiences all in one place. Four key ‘need states’, home, work, game and learn, have been coined to highlight EE’s new offerings.
The marketer behind the relaunch has been a part of the story for even longer than EE’s lifespan, working on the Orange brand before it merged with Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile UK to form a joint venture in 2010. Jeavons has led, pushed and executed the growth of EE throughout the years and the might of the brand’s colossal refresh and subsequent marketing campaigns are a testament to his drive and ambition for the business.
Ben Mooge, Publicis Groupe UK chief creative officer and long-time collaborator with Jeavons, describes him as “one of those people that you’re always pleased to see.”
“Across the table in a presentation, next to you in front of the CEO, even in a Teams window too early in the morning. No wonder he can spin so many plates and have such a team of people across so many disciplines, all pulling in the same direction.
“Sometimes I forget how that affable, self-deprecating personality masks just how closely he’s listening, and how quickly he pushes ideas on. ‘That thing you said six slides ago… what if we took that and looked at it the other way round…’ That’s Pete.”
Digitas UK chief strategy officer Matt Holt also added that it has been a pleasure to work with Jeavons over the past few years, building the new EE.
"He’s kind, smart and a lover of creativity and ideas in all forms - be that advertising, content or digital experience," Holt said. "He’s one of the most strategic marketers I've worked with and I’m looking forward to bringing more exciting ideas to life with him and the team at EE."