Shaw kicks off its rebranding campaign

The telco introduced two spokes-bots, a new logo and tagline to build love for the brand.

Six months after new CMO Jim Little joined the company, Shaw is launching a rebranded look. With media by PHD and creative from Rethink, Little tells MiC they realized it was time to freshen up and modernize the brand, which hadn’t been updated in almost 15 years. Little, the man behind RBC’s Arbie spokesperson and Bell’s beavers, Frank and Gordon, has taken his proclivity for friendly animated spokespeople to the telco for the campaign with two new spokes-bots Bit and Bud to help humanize the tech brand.

“We really wanted to figure out how to tell the story of the humanity of the brand within the pipe,” he says referring to the cables that are the meat of the company’s business. “We think our actual brand leadership position is our customer care and focus and we wanted to reinforce that in our communication, but we certainly didn’t want to do it at the expense of technology.”

While they plan to expand the spokes-bots to a community of four or five over time, for the foreseeable future they’ll focus on Bit and Bud to make sure their story is understood and to build affinity among Canadians. Upcoming commercials will build on the bots story, with eventual plans to release Biz – a B2B bot – and Beam – the satellite spokesperson.

“The beauty of the platform is that as we move forward, the story becomes more and more robust,” says Katherine Emberly, VP marketing, Shaw. For the next five to six months, the bots will maintain the messaging “You won’t miss a thing,” which is designed to address the ever-connected consumer world of smartphones and anytime-anywhere information.

Further, taking heed from the consumer-in-control landscape, they aimed to make the corporate identity more accessible, decapitalizing the logo while softening its edges.

The new logo and bots will be used to promote its retail side – the cable and internet services offered – and as the overall corporate identity on its telecommunication channels, which include Global and specialty channels including Food Network and Lifetime, which will retain distinct identities. Emberly adds that the communication from the channels will have a tighter look and feel with that of the overall company, and while there are no immediate plans to rebrand the channels, it is something they’ll examine over time.

“We’re really looking to build love for the brand,” she says. “In our Western footprint we have almost 100% brand awareness, so it’s about changing how people feel. The objectives in Eastern Canada are a little bit different as we really are a new brand – so that’ll be about building awareness.”

She says that campaign material will live in print, TV, radio and online, and takes a blanket approach in Western Canada, while in the east,  where Bell and Rogers remain the top players, the media buy won’t be quite as extensive.

This is one of the biggest media buys the company has done to date, Emberly says, adding that no distribution channel will be overlooked.

“No one is spared!” she says with a laugh. “You won’t miss a thing when we launch.”