2018 Winner

Public Mobile

Less for Less


BronzeChallenger Strategy

Public Mobile, Telus’ value brand, was not capturing enough growth in the discount wireless carrier space, facing competition from recently re-branded Freedom Mobile and fast-growing Chatr Wireless. The challenge was to grow Public Mobile’s user base, but to do so in a sustainable way. The team needed to attract consumers who would buy into the brand’s philosophy, service, and way of doing business, not those looking to jump to whatever brand is offering the cheapest service at the moment. In order to win consumers over, Public Mobile needed to not just tell people they exist, but to explain why they exist, and how they are different: Public Mobile gives you less because you deserve more.

Public Mobile’s core demographic is made up of value-conscious, tech-competent consumers who value “money saved” more than “time spent”. They aren’t cheap and are driven to get the best possible return for the least amount of money, even if that means going out of their way to get it. This consumer insight, combined with the perception that Canadian telcos don’t respect customers, recognized that people are hungry for change, fed up with stale plans and familiar voices. It’s led to a culture of distrust and deception - a competition between customers and telcos as to who can outsmart who. Neither side trusts each other, because both sides don’t feel as though they have control. Public Mobile believes that their consumers have a clue. They’re capable and resourceful. This belief needed to be core to the approach. Instead of trying to outsmart savvy customers, the team wanted to be straight with them, and empower them. Public Mobile gives them less, because they don’t want the frills - they know how to get that themselves, on their own terms.

The insight defined the core idea: Less for Less. For value-conscious and technically competent customers, the frills that come with wireless service are a badge of incompetence, not savviness. They are proud of their resourcefulness, and take pride in maximizing exactly what they need while shedding what they don’t. The campaign, “Less for Less”, emphasized that with fewer frills come greater savings. Public Mobile’s customers strive to have it all, but are unwilling to pay a premium for it.

With that in mind, the same approach was taken in launching the platform. On a shoestring budget, the team was able to produce the exact same tactics the brand’s deep-pocketed competitors do, while subtly calling out the unnecessary extras consumers are sold, instead of providing great, core wireless service. In the spirit of Less for Less, a tongue-in-cheek campaign with a single billboard (yes, one billboard - that’s not a typo) was launched, which explained why Public Mobile exists, and what they strive to offer to their customers. Out-of-home reach was expanded with digital boards, wild postings, and transit advertising that irreverently turned apparent limitations into benefits for the consumer (i.e. “CON: We don’t have any stores / PRO: You don’t pay for our stores”).

To really bring the idea to life, fake kiosks were created in malls which were simply lenticular posters reminding consumers that Public Mobile only provides business online, to keep costs low. The team created videos in as basic a form as possible - casting videos posted online, as anything more than that would have meant a rate hike for customers. Five separate casting sessions were featured which were not edited, colour corrected or enhanced in any way. Social media ads were hand drawn and featured basic copy of RTBs, intended to poke fun at other carriers’ ads. To hold it all together, a new, simplified look and feel was created for Public Mobile, and their website was updated to reflect the new direction. All of this was done in-house, avoiding any unnecessary costs or frills that would have set the team back from delivering on the platform promise.

The campaign platform has delivered, resulting in increased activations by 70% in the target market, and delivering over 253 million impressions. Public Mobile offers only what you need, only for what it’s worth - no frills (and no strings) attached.

Agency: Cossette
Global Chief Creative Officer(s): Carlos Moreno, Peter Ignazi
Writer: Simon Rogers
Art Director/Designer: Natalie Mathers
Senior Designer: Greg LeBlanc
Agency Producer: Erica Metcalfe
Account Executive: Ali Gayowski
Account Director: Aniesha Farrington
VP, Client Leader: Anabella Mandel
SVP, Director of Client Service: Janis Lindenbergs
Director, Strategy: Kevin McHugh
Chief Strategy Officer: Jason Chaney

Production House: Untitled Films
Director: Aleysa Young
Executive Producer: Lexy Kavluk
Producer: Tom Evelyn

Editing House: Rooster
Executive Producer: Melissa Kahn
Editor: Izzy Ehrlich
Assistant Editor: Taylor McWade

Online: Alter Ego
Artist: Eric Perrella
Producer: Amanda Lariviere

Casting House: Jigsaw Casting
Casting Director: Shasta Lutz

Audio House: Apollo Music
Executive Producer: Hannah Graham
Engineer: Harry Knazan

Print Production Company: 5Crowd

Media Agency: Cossette Media

Client: Public Mobile
Manager, Public Mobile: Catalina Lopez
Senior Marketing Manager, Brand and Communications: Susana Gomes
Specialist, Customer Acquisition and Social: Daniel McConnell
Dave MacLean: General Manager, Public Mobile and Prepaid

For registration inquiries, please contact Ben Soldinger at bsoldinger@brunico.com.
For partnership inquiries, please contact Neil Ewen at newen@brunico.com.