Clearnet clusters creative

Agency/Media Company: Media Experts Client: Clearnet Brand: Clearnet PCS Team: Mark Sherman; Cynthia Fleming; Lisa Di Marco Timing: Spring 1999 Best Use of Out-of-Home: Second Runner-up (tie) The Background Our objective was to launch a national advertising campaign...

Agency/Media Company: Media Experts

Client: Clearnet

Brand: Clearnet PCS

Team: Mark Sherman; Cynthia Fleming; Lisa Di Marco

Timing: Spring 1999

Best Use of Out-of-Home: Second Runner-up (tie)

The Background

Our objective was to launch a national advertising campaign for Clearnet, a Canadian wireless communications company. The campaign included television, out-of-home and newspaper. This submission focuses on the out-of-home portion of the campaign.

The key media challenge was to magnify Clearnet’s advertising investment, which was small compared to that of the competition. Our job was to make it seem larger by using a media strategy that would engage the consumer in Clearnet’s story.

The Plan

Incorporating outdoor into the plan gave us the opportunity to skew impressions toward mobile consumers, at times when they might actually be using a wireless device. It allowed us also to intercept consumers while they were en route to purchasing a new device at retail. And it would help support and stretch the awareness generated by the TV campaign.

Media Experts and TAXI Advertising & Design worked in tandem to develop a campaign that had clear synergies across all the media. Out-of-home, in particular, was key to our efforts to magnify the client’s advertising investment.

Our idea was to break through the clutter by using outdoor media to tell a story. The approach, which we dubbed ‘Clearnet Clusters,’ was designed to maximize visibility and engage the consumer in a Barbasol-style outdoor experience, whereby a group of related boards are positioned in close proximity to one another.

TAXI produced three complementary pieces of creative, incorporating the now-familiar image of a red-eyed tree frog. The first (‘Why have a home phone?’) presented the situation, showing the frog in a jar. The second (‘Unlimited evening & weekend calling.’) offered the solution, showing the same frog leaping from the jar. And the third (‘The future is friendly.’) showed our amphibian friend smiling invitingly from behind a leaf.

Without precise placement, the ‘Clearnet Cluster’ concept would not have worked. The Media Experts team spent more than 300 hours in ‘drives,’ handpicking each and every cluster across the country, and then verifying visually that the boards were posted correctly.

Six specific cluster types were identified, located in each market, and then bought and maintained. The cluster variations included sets of two or three poster units, placed side-by-side or in driving sequence, as well as tri-vision executions employing all three pieces of creative.

The Results

The synergy between the TV, out-of-home and newspaper worked extremely well. Consumer awareness of Clearnet PCS reached its highest level since the brand entered the wireless market – and Clearnet hit the threshold of 500,000 subscribers ahead of its key competition.

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From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group