A disappointing sunset puts Quebec’s high-speed internet in a better light

Who: Government of Quebec (Ministère du conseil exécutif) with Havas Montreal for strategy and creative; 4zéro1 for production (Benjamin Nicolas directing); Post430 for editing and Cult Nation for sound.

What: “All of Quebec is Accelerating,” a new campaign announcing the impending arrival of high-speed internet in all regions of the province.

When & Where: The English and French campaign went live this week, running across TV and radio, as well as social and on the news service La Presse+.

Why: According to a Montreal Gazette article, an estimated 250,000 Quebec households in remote regions did not have high-speed internet as of March last year. However, the government has been aggressively moving to increase high-speed internet access, including recently partnering with Starlink, a satellite company owned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, to bring high-speed access to just over 10,000 remote homes in the province.

Last year, Quebec Premier François Legault announced that all households in the province would have access to high-speed internet by Sept. 30 as part of a combined $1.3 billion investment by the provincial and federal governments.

How: The TV spot shows a man and woman on a deck, the picturesque mountains reflected in the windows behind them. The man says he thought the region was known for its amazing sunsets. That’s true in the village, says the woman, but high-speed internet doesn’t make it out to where she lives.

The perspective then changes to show an evening sky with pixelated birds, blocky clouds, and a spinning wheel indicating that the view is still being rendered. A voiceover explains that high-speed internet will soon be available in all regions across the province, and the man notes that it’s starting to look better now.

A radio ad continues the theme, with the sound of a rooster crowing being constantly interrupted by the bloops and bleeps of dial-up internet and buffering issues.

And we quote: “We loved the idea of delivering our message by focusing on a non-functioning rather than a functioning internet,” said Félix-Antoine Brunet, art director at Havas Montréal.

Chris Powell