Safaricom (@Safaricom), Kenya’s largest network and owner of mobile money service, M-PESA, saw the ideal opportunity to enable its 27 million subscribers to rally behind one of the country’s biggest sports stars.
Long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge was attempting to become the first person to run a marathon under two hours. The run, dubbed INEOS 159, would take place in Vienna, thousands of miles away from Kipchoge's homeland.
Leveraging Twitter, Safaricom wanted to connect Kenyans to Kipchoge and the rest of the world.
Safaricom saw Kipchoge’s run would unite the country and connect the brand with a cause all Kenyans would support. It used the opportunity to show that it was behind Kipchoge by temporarily redesigning the M-PESA logo and replacing with ELIUD.
Safaricom launched the Eliud 159 campaign four days before the race. It used a Custom Emoji that would show up whenever anyone tweeted using the hashtag #Eliud159.
The emoji became part of conversation beyond the race and allowed M-PESA and Safaricom to connect with Kipchoge’s record attempt.