How ho. Mobile customers are keeping fit while protecting the planet
What motivates you to get up and move? Is it the feeling of being out in the open air? The promise of a hearty meal afterwards? Or the satisfaction you get from becoming fitter, faster and stronger each time?
For many customers of ho. Mobile, an Italian mobile operator owned by Vodafone, fitness is more than just a “self-care" activity: it’s about connecting with friends, winning exciting rewards, and helping the environment.
The company started its “More Steps than Gigabytes” challenge in May, aiming to get its customers moving after a long winter lockdown. Customers can record the number of steps they take on an app on their phone, with every 10,000 steps equating to one GigaStep. If your total number of GigaSteps exceeds the number of gigabytes (GB) you consumed that month, you gain access to exclusive rewards.
For example, if you walked 10,000 steps a day in July (31 GigaSteps) and consumed 10 GB of data, you would win the challenge, as you would have “saved” 21 GB.
So far, ho. Mobile customers have walked, skipped, run and danced over 1.3 million GigaSteps.
“We really care about our customers, and we know many of them found it difficult to stay active during the pandemic,” said Frederica Di Pauli, a Brand and Product Marketing Specialist at ho. Mobile. “We started this initiative to give back to them.”
Teaming up with some of Italy’s biggest fitness brands, ho. Mobile offers everyone who has racked up “more steps than gigabytes” each month exclusive discounts on smart watches, activewear and more. As well as motivating customers to get off their phones and on the treadmill, these rewards are designed to contribute to their performance, helping them improve their score every month.
And while running is often thought of as a solitary activity, ho. Mobile still found ways to bring people together. In partnership with Deejay, a popular Italian radio station, it planned a virtual fun run, My Deejay Ten 2021. On Sunday 23 May 2021, 22,000 people participated in 10km or 5km virtual races. Runners could race at any time of the day and recorded their time via an app.
Following the huge success of “More Steps than Gigabytes”, ho. Mobile extended the initiative in August by giving customers access to 30 carefully plotted routes. Located all over Italy, they are sorted into three categories: city walks, running circuits or cross-country tracks.
But it’s not all about fitness goals: in partnership with Treedom, ho. Mobile has committed to planting a tree for every 1000 TB “saved” (one TB = 1000 GB), helping to restore the greenery our planet needs to survive.
As well as bringing huge environmental benefits, Treedom’s agroforestry projects promote the natural interaction of animal species and the sustainable use of land and resources. They also support local communities; the people who plant and care for the trees receive training and are free to enjoy the fruit the trees produce.
So far, 360 trees have been planted in the “ho. Forest", which has roots all over the world, from Mexico to Kenya. The trees have absorbed 8,300 kilograms of carbon dioxide already this year. Customers can see the forest on ho. Mobile's interactive map.
When it comes to getting fit, we all need a little more motivation sometimes. And what better incentive than the promise of helping the environment, winning exciting rewards, and learning to use data more responsibly? Judging by the success of the initiative so far, it’s clear that ho. Mobile is well and truly in step with its customers.
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