Orange’s ‘I am’ campaign – SEO disaster!

Orange are running a campaign at the moment called ‘I am who I am because of everyone‘ where they invite people to search for the phrase ‘I am’ online. I imagined that they had done a lot of SEO on the phrase ‘I am’ to ensure the they had the top spot for this phrase

I just saw the entertaining documentaries about Mark Beaumont’s cycle across the world and remembered that he was one of the people featured in this campaign, and I remembered to search for ‘I am’.  So far so good, I have seen the ad and am acting on its message.

However when I do a search for ‘I am’, the Orange site is not the first result, the first result is ‘I am bored’ – a site which suggests interesting sites for bored people.  Not a good first site to come up for a brand related search!  Orange’s site is an undistingushed number 8, and they resort to adwords to get top position.

I am not sure why a) Orange decided to get people to search for I am when they were not top and b) why they thought that simply saying visit was a bad idea.  Perhaps an SEO company promised and didn’t deliver.


  1. Jon says:

    I really do not understand how “SEO professionals” can ever guarantee results. They can do everything that they believe to help get to the top spot, but I think that what works for one industry / keywords / domain will not work for others. The fact the sits at no.1 is really no surprise, as for less competitive or generic keywords, the right domain name can be as useful as 100’s of links.

    But saying that, how long is this campaign? Orange could make it to no.1 if they plan on using this domain for several years. But if it is jsut a throw away gimmicky campaign, then it will probably fail in the SE’s for “I am”. Also, “i am everyone” is no.1 as is “orange”, so they have certainly been doing something right.

    But was the campaign a disaster? There is no such thing as bad publicity in this game. If SEO experts keep blogging about it, and linking to the site, the campaign will quickly become a success! No-one in their right mind would ever search for “I am” unless invited anyway.

  2. trevor says:

    The fact that SEO cannot guarantee positions means that inviting people to search for a term is perhaps a risky strategy, this was really my point

  3. Andy Geldman says:

    Orange has always run these obtuse ad campaigns, since their original “the future is orange”.

    Personally, I can’t stand their ads. They don’t make sense, and don’t tell me why I should buy Orange.

    Anyway, rant over. They are probably happy to pay PPC rates to advertise on “i am”. It’s not a competitive phrase and probably peanuts in cost compared to the main ads.

  4. Philip Sheppard says:

    Interesting article… I completely missed the point of the Orange Ad even though it kept my attention throughout the whole ad and had some feel good factor to it, none of which really made me want to buy Orange.

    Didn’t even think of searching for “I am”, and not too sure if I want to now 🙂

    I disagree though, in that I always thought the “The future is Orange” was one of the best slogans ever made. Four words which anyone can quote to you and identifies the brand too. Somewhat ominous too, made you think they were going to take over the world 🙂

    Just my two cents….


  5. Tom Hardy says:

    I think the campaign is exceptional. I agree it isn’t the most direct but its sentiment is perfectly clever. Enabling individualism. Exactly what the market wants (perhaps better termed as sefishness and “i want it now, in my way!”).

    The “search for I am” online isn’t the point. It really isn’t. Its about a way of thinking. Orange will help enable you do what ever you want to do… search where you want to search. Maybe you want to look at out campaign site… maybe you dont. Just do what you want to do. “At Orange we dont mind”. Very brave admittedly, but a fantastic demonstration of new thinking, years ahead of most of the market. 5 years time i can see b2b market cottoning on. (If capitalism still exists!)

  6. Jon says:

    This just came up in conversation over at and I thought, why not see how orange are doing for “I am” now. And yes, they are now no.1 (at least from where I am sitting, in the UK).

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