Rogers’ new brand platform puts focus on connections over connectivity

Who: Rogers, with Sid Lee for strategy, creative and post-production; Skin + Bones for production (with Samir Mallal directing the :60); Grayson Music Group for audio; and Mindshare for media.

What: “With You All the Way,” a new platform for the brand that puts the focus on how Rogers products and services connect Canadians. It comes a little more than one year after Sid Lee won the business.

When & Where: The new platform debuted last month, with an anthemic 60-second hero spot. But this is a big, integrated campaign with TV (a :60 and :30s) as well as online video, social, print and out of home (traditional and digital).

Why: Sid Lee has produced a number of campaigns and ads since winning the account last spring. But this is the first work that represents the evolution of the brand since the agency took over.

As is usually the case in a commoditized category like telecom, essential product features like speed and connectivity are cornerstones of the brand strategy. But Rogers wants to be known for its innovation, while also emphasizing that it provides what matters most to Canadians, said Genevieve Boulanger, managing director for Rogers at Sid Lee.

“The intention here was to make sure we evolve the communication platform to reflect that,” she said. “The core of it is connection matters to all of us, and how do we turn this into something meaningful in a brand platform.”

At a time when most of the world is constantly connected but many people (paradoxically) feel more disconnected, Sid Lee’s solution was to show how Rogers offers connectivity not for the sake of faster YouTube streams or social media dance challenges, but to enhance connections with friends, family and even ourselves.

That theme of connection is rich territory for emotional storytelling across a wide spectrum of moments, people and places. “Connections to me means something perhaps that’s different than what it means to you,” said Boulanger. “So we need to go after all these moments.”

How: The 60-second launch spot is a montage of scenes, with a diverse cast of characters enjoying connections with loved ones. The opening scene is a tender moment between a father and a newborn baby—no technology needed.

The rest of the scenes show characters using Rogers products. There’s nothing remarkable about the services being shown—text, email, video-chat—instead, Rogers is just there “with you,” facilitating the special human connection moment. “Connection. We all need it. We live for it,” says a voiceover. “It helps us feel like we are part of something much bigger than ourselves.”

“Connection matters,” she says as the spot comes to a close. “That’s why connecting Canadians has been our focus for over 60 years. And it’s just the beginning,” she says as the new tagline, “With You All the Way” appears on screen.

“This isn’t about Rogers,” said Boulanger. “It’s not about us coming in and saying we’re this and we’re that. It’s about what Canadians are about. So that’s the shift there.”

Other creative, including shorter social posts and contextual out of home, capture a wide range of similar slice-of-life moments, with Rogers connecting peoplefrom a young woman seated in an airplane who needs to tell everyone she has landed, to someone sending a “what’s for dinner” text.

“The platform really depicts what we see in the organization in terms of commitment to always bringing that connection and doing what matters,” said Boulanger.

Beyond the advertising: Aside from a slightly updated sound-mark to end the ads, Sid Lee also tweaked the visual brand identity, with Boulanger describing it as a “slight evolution.”  A red L-shape frames much of static and display advertising for example, and the circular mobius in the logo is being “leveraged a bit differently,” she said. Those changes, she said, were “specifically created to bring that human connection to the forefront.”

David Brown