Public Mobile comes to Ontario, Quebec

The newest entrant to Canada's wireless market opened for business today with 25 new stores in Montreal and Toronto, and a stealth 'Unlimited' OOH campaign.

Canada’s once-staid wireless market got another new player today with the official launch of Public Mobile, a wireless company targeting Ontario and Quebec.

The company formed in 2008 but officially unveiled its first 25 retail locations today with a press conference in Toronto, although its phone service will not be activated until mid-May. The company is offering an early-bird signing bonus to customers of ‘unlimited Canadian long distance for life’ if they sign up now.

To promote the launch, the company embarked on a rather stealth OOH advertising campaign that started several weeks ago. Featuring 691 OOH ads in Toronto and 498 ads in Montreal, the campaign has until today only featured the tagline ‘Unlimited’ with no logo or company reference. This week, the creative was switched up to include the Public Mobile logo and limited-time offer. A television campaign will start this week. The campaign creative and media planning was handled by Toronto-based full-service agency Unitas and the media buy was handled by PHD.

The campaign was designed to build intrigue in the weeks building up to the company’s debut, Mike Robitaille, founder, Unitas Reputation Services, tells MiC. ‘Often time when you tell the entire story, you really don’t capture people’s imagination. Whereas when you say, ‘I’m about to tell you a story,’ people take notice. So it was really to start the conversation as opposed to blurting out the conversation in one fell swoop.’

As the buy indicates, the media strategy focused largely on transit, a move Robitaille says was designed to put Public Mobile front and centre in the heart of Toronto and Montreal communities.

‘A huge part of Public Mobile’s business strategy overall is to be part of the community it serves and so we want to be where working people are, because those are the people this company was built to serve. Transit shelters, there’s something very special about that as a medium, as opposed to billboards that are in the community but above it, almost looking down. Transit shelters make you feel like a citizen of the community.’