The O2 story is one of corporate transformation and extraordinary business success. In 2001 BT made the decision to rebrand its troubled mobile phone business – BT Cellnet. We were asked to pitch for the project. Sifting through research we discovered a customer comment that unlocked the problem: ‘I would never leave home without my mobile, it’s essential for life.’ Looking for a metaphor to express ‘essential for life’ we turned to oxygen – O2. Combining a simple, powerful visual with an elegant brand architecture we set about building and telling a story that would transform public belief, staff morale and the ability of the company to gain competitive advantage. The new brand achieved astonishing business results. After a year O2 had a spontaneous awareness of 55%, while spending half the amount on advertising versus its nearest competitor and had become the most preferred mobile brand in Europe. In 2006 the balance sheet value of O2 was £9bn. At the point it sold to Telefonica for £18bn, the brand had doubled the book value. Safe to say, we won the pitch.