Videotron focuses on perks to launch Fizz

How the new low-cost mobile and internet provider is aiming to stand out in a crowded telco market.

Videoton’s new digital-only mobile and internet brand Fizz provider has landed in Quebec, and it hopes to lure customers away from established players with offers that are “fair” and transparent, as opposed to limited-time promotions and personalized pricing.

A digital-focused marketing campaign, including three spots in French and English, capture what the company sees as its differentiating factor. Each is centered around a tangible benefit of going with Fizz, and together they deliver a brand message that is quirky and funny, says Alexandre-Emond Turcotte, creative director at Ogilvy Montreal, which led the campaign, as well as strategic planning, branding and roll-out strategy for Fizz.

For example, Fizz allows customers to roll unused data over to the next month. That perk is promoted in a spot showing a girl drop her ice cream cone; rather than “lose what’s hers,” she catches it and continues eating. Another video promoting the company’s rewards programs, in which customers earn points for simply using its app, portrays a man barely hitting a pinata, only to have candy come rushing out. In addition to the digital spots, the launch campaign includes traditional media, such as cinema and OOH.

Launched in September, Fizz is available in Quebec and Ottawa only, running independently of Videotron. The decision to launch Fizz was based on customer insights, says Martin Gendron, the company’s head of marketing, communications and partnerships. The telco industry being a “super-competitive market,” it had become difficult for Videotron to compete efficiently with only one brand, he says. The idea was to diversify the telco’s existing offer with something “truly different.”

With its launch, Fizz enters an already-crowded space. In Quebec, it must compete against existing low-cost, digital-only sub-brands of major telcos, namely Rogers’ Chatr Mobile, Telus’ Public Mobile and Bell’ Lucky Mobile, whose services are available in Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa. The three companies also own lower-cost carriers Fido (Rogers), Koodo (Telus) and Virgin (Bell).

In order to ensure its business was competitive, the company launched in beta in September to test its features and optimize its model through customer feedback (it is currently beta-testing a broadband internet to be unveiled later this year). The goal, says Gendron, was to be transparent and engage the “digitally-minded community” from the start.

As a digital brand, Fizz does not have any physical stores, which influenced the company’s go-to-market offer. Since customers must manage their accounts online, Gendron says the telco’s offers had to be intuitive and easy to follow. Among other providers, customers often feel the need to negotiate the costs of their services. Shaw’s Freedom Mobile has tackled that customer pain-point by offering perks like competitive “Big Gig” plans. Meanwhile, Fizz allows customers to troubleshoot issues for themselves online, through its “Solution Hub” and “Community Hub” and through chat support.

The idea was not to build the company on a “price-driven sales pitch,” Turcotte says, but rather to place the Fizz advantage front and centre and have customers stay for the “right reasons.” Customers do not sign a contract, can gift unused data to a family member or friend, and earn points through its My Rewards program by referring friends, assisting other members or simply paying their bills. It’s currently offering introductory plans ranging from $17 to $35 per month, as it works to “refine its services and work through the last few occasional glitches.”

In developing the brand name and identity, the client wanted “something short, snappy [and] that you could remember easily,” Turcotte adds. Brand assets include a lightning bolt image to help communicate the “flashiness” and energy of the brand. And Ogilvy worked with a pair of Quebec-based artists on incorporating a mix of illustration and photography into Fizz’s online brand identity.