SMART Philippines and Opera Mini

SMART Philipines Opera Mini

SMART and Opera Mini

In 2011, SMART Communications, Inc., and Opera Software joined forces to bring the Opera Mini browser to SMART’s mobile subscribers in the Philippines. Since then, SMART has leveraged Opera Mini and its data compression capabilities to help drive the growth of mobile-internet adoption throughout the country. By employing innovative marketing campaigns to promote mobile data packages to suit specific target audiences, as well as desirable giveaway incentives, SMART has managed to achieve its subscription and data-consumption goals, while breaking down barriers and misconceptions towards the mobile internet in the Philippines.


As of March 2013, the internet audience in the Philippines was the fastest growing in Southeast Asia, growing by 22% since March 2012. There are well over 35 million internet users in the Philippines today, who predominantly access the internet via desktop computers at school, work or home. People who access the internet from their mobile phones went from a virtually non-existent presence in 2009 to 35% in 2013, reflecting a shift in the the way Filipinos get online. As this trend grows, operators in the region have been seeking ways to capitalize on the growth potential of the mobile internet, offering attractive data tariffs on mobile data to build their user bases, increase competition and give consumers more choice.

Growing user numbers: SMART’s 2011 “Win a Mini” campaign

SMART is the Philippines’ largest telecom operator, with over 50 million mobile subscribers and is one of Opera Software’s key partners in Southeast Asia. SMART’s partnership with Opera Software allows it to use Opera Mini as a driver to increase user numbers and gain higher data revenue from mobile internet use. Because mobile internet growth in the Philippines is coming in large part from young adults in middle- to upper-class households, SMART correlated tastes and trends popular among this demographic to better target this part of the market. In looking at Opera Software’s previous success helping other mobile-network operators to launch campaigns that used attractive incentives to encourage data use (such as BMW Mini Cooper automobile giveaways tied to mobile browsing habits), SMART decided to replicate this success in the Philippines.

SMART put together a comprehensive campaign to market mobile-internet use, offering compelling pricing deals and the chance to win a much-sought-after Mini Cooper car. With a growing middle-to-upper class increasingly embracing mobile as its primary online outlet, and a growing demand among SMART’s target demographic for high-end, popular cars, SMART believed it had a winning combination of factors to reach its goals for growing its mobile-internet user base and for increasing mobile-internet-data revenue.

To enter the competition, users registeredon a campaign site that was accessible only through the Opera Mini browser. Users chose from the “Always On” data packages in the microsite. The more data-heavy the plan purchased, the more competition points the user earned. Users could also earn additional points when they shared the campaign on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. For every successful share, users received an extra point. Users were able to return to the microsite (via Opera Mini) to check their points at any time during the campaign period.

Key components: "Win a Mini" campaign

  • Key Message: “Surf on your mobile faster and cheaper with Opera Mini”

Primary marketing channels:

  • 30-second TV ads on major TV channels across the Philippines
  • Full-page print ads in two leading daily newspapers
  • Star-studded campaign launch event in the SM Mall
  • Retail push with leaflets & posters
  • SMS & USSD push
  • Social-networking push on SMART & Opera Facebook pages
  • On-the-ground events in major malls & schools across the Philippines
  • Online & mobile advertising from Opera

Campaign results

Encouraging users to use Opera Mini as the gateway to the campaign site generated strong user awareness for the Opera Mini browser and helped SMART to achieve the growth of co-branded Opera Mini users it was seeking. During the campaign period, the monthly usage of co-branded Opera Mini doubled and the daily usage of the co-branded browser increased by 89%.

UnliSurf 15/60/80/160/299—SMART’s first Opera data plans

Buoyed by the success of the “Win a Mini” campaign, SMART worked closely with Opera in 2013 to launch a second successful campaign.
Filipinos happen to be among the most active internet users in the world, ranking in the Top 10 countries for social-media-site usage for Facebook, YouTube and Twitter; yet, because of the fear of unexpected costs while surfing away from free Wi-Fi hot spots, online browsing tends to be done via computers at home, school or work. Opera and SMART sought to change this behavior.

The first Opera-Mini-specific data plans that SMART launched in April 2013 were the UnliSurf15 (15 pesos) for 1 day of unlimited mobile browsing and the UnliSurf 60 (60 pesos) for 5 days of unlimited mobile browsing. In August, Smart launched additional plans including the UnliSurf 80 (80 pesos) for 1 week, the UnliSurf 160 (160 pesos) for 15 days and the UnliSurf 299 (299 pesos) for 30 days. SMART used a multi-channel-marketing approach to promote its campaign, using TV, online, social-media, radio, SMS, billboard and print ads. SMART leveraged the popularity of social-media sites such as Facebook and YouTube and ran a series of campaign videos starring the popular Filipino actor, radio DJ and TV show host Ramon Bautista, who encouraged people to use the mobile internet to stay connected while on the go.

SMART Philipines Opera Mini

UnliSurf campaign results

By making unlimited mobile browsing through Opera Mini affordable to consumers, SMART broke down some of the concerns associated with browsing while on the go and converted users with data-capable mobile phones into paying mobile-internet subscribers via an affordable unlimited browsing rate. Since April 2013, the number of active monthly Opera Mini co-branded users on SMART’s network has doubled.
SMART and Opera worked together to dismantle the misconception that the mobile internet is expensive and unattainable, thereby opening up the mobile internet market in the Philippines to huge growth potential in the near future.

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