Shaw launches mobile service with new ‘Brighter Together’ brand platform

Who: Shaw Communications and Rethink, with Scouts Honour for production.

What: The launch campaign for Shaw Mobile, the Calgary-based telecommunications company’s new wireless brand for Alberta and B.C. It’s being accompanied by a new brand platform for all of Shaw’s business: “Brighter Together.”

Rethink won the mandate for the Shaw Mobile launch in a multi-agency pitch that took place in May, a Shaw spokesperson told The Message. The agency has been working with Shaw since 2012 and has responsibility for all of its lines of business except Freedom Mobile, which is handled by Toronto’s Rain43.

When & Where: The new brand platform began rolling out today (July 30) across all consumer touch-points, including Shaw’s retail locations, advertising (TV, radio, digital out-of-home, social) and digital properties.

Shaw has also introduced a new visual identity for its 19 Shaw retail locations, which will include 12 “new and enhanced” stores that will be opened before the end of summer.

Why: It’s a brand launch in a highly competitive—and ad-filled—category. This is a big play for Shaw, which has invested nearly $30 billion in building, upgrading and expanding its Fast LTE and Fibre+ networks and services since 2013.

Shaw is already a player in the wireless space with Freedom Mobile (which has nearly 1.8 million customers, mostly in Ontario), but Shaw Mobile is different in that it is piggybacking on the company’s existing Fibre+ internet service—providing data coverage through its Shaw Go WiFi spots. According to Shaw that much access to WiFi means customers can “virtually eliminate” wireless data bills.

How: The “Brighter Together” positioning refers to a “brighter, more optimistic and smarter future” for all of Shaw, says Sean McDonald, managing partner, head of strategy for Rethink. (“It is not connected to COVID,” he said. “But I suppose the optimism is welcome during this time.) The platform expands the brand’s existing colour palette and adds fibre imagery to convey the ideas of connectivity and brightness.

The 60-second master brand spot has a very telco tone and feel: earnest and sincere, with lots of talk about “brighter days,” the “power of bright ideas” and connectivity. It demonstrates Shaw’s coverage by showing houses and devices across the region being illuminated by Shaw’s technology.

There are also a pair of 30-second spots supporting the Shaw Mobile service that are more in keeping with an upstart brand in a fun and energetic category. “Work Friends” and “BBQ,” are both slightly irreverent and fun, featuring Shaw Mobile customers discussing their mobile plan with friends/colleagues while also making asides to the camera in which they tell us what they really think about the service.

“The recognition was that it’s hard to believe you can get such a good deal,” says McDonald of the creative strategy. “That moment when they’re looking at the camera is a direct connection to the consumer to say ‘This deal is really that good.’

“It’s a genuine moment of connection between the audience and what Shaw is communicating. What we’re trying to do is break that fourth wall and connect directly with Canadians.”

All of the ads were shot in Vancouver in July,  in compliance with the city’s filming guidelines and with a Vancouver health officer on set.

And we quote: “Our new refreshed visual identity puts Shaw’s Fibre+ network at the forefront and reinforces the technology available to customers through our exciting products. This new identity will serve as the foundation for all our new advertising and merchandising in the foreseeable future.” Paul McAleese, president, Shaw Communications

“It is always a pleasure to work with ambitious clients, and Shaw is exactly that. Launching mobile is a seminal moment for Shaw and we’re proud to be a part of it. There’s more to come, this is just the start.” —Sean McDonald, managing partner, head of strategy, Rethink.

Chris Powell