Media release

iiNet’s Pet-Fi prank could be a keeper

1 April 2014: iiNet are thrilled with the number of good sports that got involved with today’s Pet-Fi prank, which received awesome social engagement from customers, media and the general public.

On the morning of April 1st, iiNet announced the launch of Pet-Fi, a world first in Wi-Fi technology, which featured on the website and social pages.

The product promised customers access to wireless Internet at home or on-the-go by attaching an innovative 3G mobile broadband dongle to their pet’s collar. Powered by kinectic energy generated from the pet’s movement, Pet-Fi provides customers with broadband access within a 30 meter radius of their furry friend.

Though today was clearly all about April Fools fun, iiNet Digital Marketing Manager, Jane Orchard, said a similar product would fit well in the company’s planned connected home offering.

"We were so blown away by the response that we are now looking at including pet collars in the home automation solution we are currently researching at iiNet Labs," iiNet Digital marketing Manager Jane Orchard said.

While in its April Fools form, Pet-Fi probably sounded silly to some, there were plenty of people who fell for our little joke.

“My cats hate wearing collars and the neighbour's would be getting free pet fi”said one user on iiNet’s Facebook page today - convinced her cat will soon be able to beam wireless internet across her home. “Not gonna lie...got a little excited when I saw this in my email this morning.” said another Facebook follower.

And even those who were quick to realise iiNet was up to mischief, still had some nice things to say on their Facebook page:“Dear iinet. Do you have any jobs going? Would love to work in a place with such an amazing sense of humour. Top marks for being refreshing.”

Within hours of announcing the product launch on iiNet’s website and social pages, customers were sharing the Pet-Fi pages on their Facebook and Twitter accounts - hoping to fool their pet-loving friends. By 12.30pm AEST iiNet’s Pet-Fi page had been shared or liked over 800 times on Facebook and “Pet-Fi” was mentioned in more than 600 Tweets.

By 3pm EST the Pet-Fi page had received 19,935 unique visits and the iiNet Facebook page had 550 Likes and 170 comments. On Twitter iiNet received 1003 retweets and 654 favourites. The gag product launch also was featured on a range of mainstream and industry online media including, The Australian, Canberra Times, News.com, andTechday.

Even iiNet’s friends at CSIRO, the creators of Wi-Fi technology, joined the conversation:

Link to CSIRO twitter account

iiNet were also delighted to see the prank embraced outside of social media - with many websites posting about Pet-Fi, hoping to fool their readers as well. Marketingmag.com.au posted an article revealing Pet-Fi as “the latest innovation in Wi-Fi technology”. Other websites were quicker to let the cat out of the bag - LifeHacker were the first to compile a list of Australian “geek pranks” - featuring iiNet’s Pet-Fi.

April Fools is traditionally a favourite day in the tech industry, providing an opportunity for light-hearted engagement with customers and often poking fun at industry trends and marketing cliches.

“It was great to see so many people playing along and getting involved in our prank today, both through interaction with us and also sharing with their friends on social media. It’s no secret that our customers love technology and have a sense of humour, so it was awesome for us to able to deliver something fun today,” iiNet Digital Marketing Manager, Jane Orchard said.

“We would like to thank all of those who participated in our April Fools Day prank on the iiNet website as well as on social channels and those who embraced the prank on other media. Thanks for sharing the laughs with us!”

iiNet partners with Digital Agency DGM on digital engagement strategy, and this PetFi project.

 

- ENDS -

For further information, please contact:

Tina Liptai or Anthony Fisk
Communications - iiNet Group
Ph: +61 8 9214 2210
Email: media@staff.iinet.net.au

About iiNet 

iiNet is Australia’s second largest DSL Internet Service Provider and the leading challenger in the telecommunications market. Publicly listed on the ASX 200, our company is now valued at approximately $1 billion. We employ more than 2500 inquisitive staff across three countries - 80 per cent of whom are employed to directly service our 900,000 customers. We maintain our own super-fast broadband network and support over 1.7 million broadband, telephony and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) services nationwide.

We're committed to making it simple for all Australians to connect across both our own network and on the NBN. Our vision is to lead the market with products that harness the potential of the Internet and then differentiate with award-winning customer service.

A full list of current awards can be viewed at iiNet Award /about/awards