CASSIES Gold: El Tabador boosts Koodo

A tiny Mexican wrestler body slams the telco competition.

Situation Analysis Koodo debuted in early 2008 with a look as bold as its proposition – affordable mobility on the customer’s terms. When Koodo arrived, its Gen Y target finally had an alternative that matched their budget and irreverent attitude. The result? Koodo was the most successful wireless launch in Canadian history. But it was only a matter of time before competitors caught on, and by the end of 2009 Koodo’s functional benefits had been matched across the board. Without any groundbreaking new rate plans or phones, what did Koodo have to work with?

Strategy & Insight Koodo’s not-so-secret weapon was the Tab, which gave customers the ability to get a $0 phone without a contract. While the Tab had been featured in communications since Koodo’s launch, it had never been the focus of a campaign. But the Tab embodied what Koodo stood for in a category where most folks were resigned to being taken advantage of.

Execution It started in 2010 when El Tabador, a four-inch-tall animated luchador (an iconic Mexican wrestler), stepped into the ring. He would save customers from the injustice of long-term contracts with hard-hitting offers and new plans. The campaign was integrated across multiple media – TV, outdoor, print, POS, an interactive YoutTube game, an online mockumentary with wrestler Bret “Hitman” Hart, a Facebook community and mini muchacho action figures.

Results Koodo had the most successful postpaid wireless launch in Canadian history and this momentum continued through 2012. Brand awareness is virtually 100%, and 87% of customers say they’re likely to recommend Koodo. J.D. Power ranked Koodo as “highest in customer satisfaction with stand-alone wireless service.” And Koodo remains the top postpaid provider with each of its major national retailers.

Cause & Effect Probably the most telling evidence has been the competitive reaction, with Virgin and Wind launching copycat offerings, and Fido launching an anti-tab campaign. Spending didn’t factor, with absolute levels and share of voice below that of the competition. Pricing can be ruled out, given many new value-conscious brands entered the category. Distribution has improved, but remains low compared to other wireless carriers. And Koodo’s handset lineup is less sophisticated than its rivals. Advertising was the obvious key to success.


Client: Koodo Mobile
Chief Koodo officer: Kevin Banderk
VP marketing communications: Lise Doucet
Manager, marketing communications: Dragana Simao
Manager, digital marketing communications: Nathan Roth
Directrice générale, communications et marketing: Jennifer Robertson
Agency: Taxi 2
ECD: Lance Martin
French CDs: Partick Chaubet, Alex Gadois
Design CD: Dave Watson
ADs: Jeff MacEachern, Mike Lee, Craig Ferguson, Jordan Dunlop
Writers: Mike Blackmore, Tal Wagman, Alexis Bronstorph, Marko Pandza
French writers: Josianne Cossette, Tanya Henri
Group account directors: Caleb Goodman, Natalie Calderon
Montreal account director: Pascale St-Amand
Account managers: Katie Trainor, Steve Waugh, Sherrie Reynolds, Kirstin Bojanowski, Krista Cressman, Julie MacGregor
Media agency: Cossette Media
Production house: BENT Image Lab
Designers: Mike Blain, Kammy Singh, Tyler Smith
Broadcast producers: Jennifer Cursio, Ben Sharpe, Kevin Saffer, Brie Gowans, Anick Rozon
Print producers: Tara Greguric, Charlene Leong, Jen Shapiro
Mac Artists: Brian Coughlin, Dave Kinsella, Dayle Sheward, Lorin Altomonte, Susan Carswell, Dwayne-Mark Aranha
Retouchers: Alex Chung, Andrew O’Driscoll
Interactive producers: Gaetano Carpino, Patrick Elia, Jennifer Simpson, Joyce King, Hanna Bratt
Interactive programming: Matt Burtch, Bob Blevins, Ryan Johnson, Carson Shold
Digital strategy: Cory Pelletier, Nicole Polivka, Zach Klein
Audio production company: Grayson Matthews



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