Public Mobile reveals new branding and ad campaign

Who: Public Mobile, Cossette, Cossette Media and Frank for production.

What: A new brand identity that includes a new logo, colours and typography, with a supporting advertising campaign using the tagline “Public displays of affection.”

When & Where: The new look was unveiled Aug. 19, and the ad campaign is running across Canada until the end of the year. It includes out-of-home, online video, digital and radio.

Why: The new look and feel began with a design audit that looked at all elements of the brand, from logo to colours to typography. “We knew there was a brand awareness problem with our communications and with this brand,” said Luis Coderque, group creative director and head of design at Cossette. The previous branding was very functional, but other brands in the discount mobile category had evolved to become very similar. “During that design audit we saw that everyone was saying the same thing,” said Coderque.

How the branding helps: The new visual brand identity is meant to feel more human, convey diversity, individuality and interconnectedness, while reminding consumers that the Public name itself is about people. The new brand tagline, “We’re for you,” further underscores a commitment to the customer.

The illustrations by Brooklyn designer Ben Wiseman show humans minus facial features. “We wanted to use a style that is not too detailed…so you don’t see features on the face. That gives you enough room to speak to a broader audience. We can represent the entire country,” said Coderque.

There are actually six logos (see them below), each subtly distinct thanks to different individual characters within them. “As you get closer you notice the diversity… It is hard to notice but that is the beauty of this brand,” said Coderque.

About the advertising: “What we tried to do with Public Displays of Affection is get this brand noticed again… and we know humour captures people’s attention,” said Coderque. The creative juxtaposes displays of affection with the ways Public shows its love for customers through various product features. The target market is broad—from people in their 20s to 50s, from all cultural backgrounds and from coast to coast. The advertising was developed with different demos in mind. Where the video ads are more quirky and off-the-wall in a way that might resonate more with millennials and younger consumers, the humour in the radio spots will be more relatable to older consumers.

Quote: “Customers are at the core of everything we do and our brand refresh reflects that… We’re excited to launch a simplified, mature and visually strong identity backed by a campaign that showcases our love for our customers,” said Susana Gomes, senior marketing manager, Public Mobile.


David Brown