Life beyond the device


O2 wanted an in-store magazine that was more than just tariffs. It had to entertain and inspire customers to go out and make connections as per the O2 brand value. By focusing on music, going out and general entertainment content we offered fun, useful content to hammer home the idea that “O2 helps you feel more alive”.



Our role:
  • Digital
  • Video
  • Social


We grabbed this brief with both hands, knowing the value we could deliver in opening up a content conversation and deepening O2’s connections with its 25 million UK customer base.

We assembled a dedicated team, led by an editor who had specialised in writing about culture, entertainment and food, knowing she would collaborate well with O2 and their wider agencies and really live and breathe the needs of the target audience.


O2’s data capability gave us a granular customer view. We fused analytics detailing behaviours, passion points and lifestyles with Hearst’s editorial expertise, to inform a range of bespoke content that would resonate with the O2 audience. Then we overlaid O2’s key investments such as live experiences, music and affiliated events, as well as its products, services and its CSR objective around digital wellbeing. Together, this gave us the tools to define O2 Alive’s brand proposition and build a content strategy that we could authentically own.

Targeting an audience we call the ‘Urban-Out’, O2 Alive curates essential dates for your diary. Alive knows that life’s not one dimensional, which is why we cover it all: music, film, comedy, sport, tech, wellness, food and drink, and nightlife.


HCA creates content for O2 that reflects all these elements, promoting and encouraging live experiences and living in the moment. Embedded within this content framework are the marketing priorities O2 needs to incorporate, presented in a modern, useful and playful tone of voice. Key franchises, such as ‘Fresh Acts’ were created, in this instance to reinforce O2’s relationship with music and talent. And all content is created to be used across the eco-system if required. Content is elevated by our contacts book of expert contributors from Hearst’s brands such as Esquire, Men's Health, Elle and Digital Spy as well as high-profile talent.


Visually, we gave the content an eclectic mix by fusing photography and illustration and using two contemporary typefaces. All set within a flat plan that gave structure, coherence and pace, encouraging improved engagement with the reader. During this final stage of setting out the creative framework, we worked closely with the branding agency to ensure consistency, maximum impact and brand elevation for O2.

HCA is responsible for printing the magazine and O2 uses its store network to distribute a significant number of copies on a monthly basis.


For O2, building relationships with artists is a key metric, so were keen to use the agency team’s connections to feature both mass market and emerging talent from the music scene. Over the past two years, we have featured music talent including Foals, Tom Walker, Jack Penåte, Pete Tong, and Freya Ridings. We also pulled in talent related to other live experiences such as sport, comedy, TV and radio, drag performance and food.