Shomi hits the streets for expanded launch

Shomi looks to social media to drum up awareness of its wider launch, as costumed characters inspired by its shows fanned out across Canadian cities.

Photo-bombing costumed characters hashtagged to Shomi’s social-media wall of fame was the brand image the streaming service wanted Canadians to remember as it expanded its service yesterday.

Shomi, which launched in November last year and was, until yesterday, only available to Rogers and Shaw subscribers, is now being offered to all Canadians.

The social media campaign was inspired by some of the service’s exclusive, marquee content. Characters based on Shomi’s show selection – zombies for iZombie, pirates for Black Sails, vikings for Vikings and Highlanders for Outlander could be spotted on the streets of Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax. Those “photobombed” by the characters were encouraged to post the photo with the hashtag #ShomiMovesIn. Hashtaggers are entered into a draw with a random winner being selected and announced in September.

“It fits into our look and feel and our tone,” says David Asch, SVP and GM, Shomi of the campaign. “It really emphasizes our brand and shows us as being fun and friendly.”

Asch says he believes that Shomi’s 15,000-strong content library, its accessibility through set-top boxes and its focus the user-interface experience sets it apart from its main competition: Netflix, which charges the same $8.99 monthly subscriber fee, and soon-to-be-wide $4 CraveTV, set for a January 2016 wide release.

Shomi’s promotional campaign kicked off with the aim of exposing people to the culture behind its brand. As an example, it is highlighting curated recommendations from its head programmer Marni Shulman, who has developed lists of her favorite new shows and a kids and family selection based on programming chosen by her own family. The service targets generally adults 18 to 49.


Shomi is also offering potential subscribers a free month of access to content that is organized by category and includes a starter kit that helps newbies navigate their way through the content through curated offerings.

The cross-platform entertainment service is available on tablet, mobile, online, Xbox 360, Apple TV and Chromecast, as well as  through cable and ISP providers. The service plans to expand to more devices and platforms in coming months, says Asch.