Public Mobile puts affection on display

The mobile carrier emphasizes the "affectionate" nature of its recent rebranding by amplifying what its customers care about.

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By Daniel Calabretta

A child dressed in a sandwich outfit, with the caption: “My favourite sandwich.” A couple in a restaurant, acknowledging 35 years of marriage. A picture of savoury tacos and salsa.

These are three examples of public displays of affection consumers shared as part of a national social media campaign for Public Mobile, meant to develop more traction and recognition for the mobile company’s new brand positioning, feel and overall look – through “public displays of affection” for the people and things they cared about most, shared on social media.

publicmobilepda“This comes on the back of August, unveiling our new brand identity that was really centred around the customer,” says Dave MacLean, general manager of Public Mobile. “We demonstrate how we care about the customer by enabling them to talk about what they’re passionate about, rather than us just buying ad space and talking to people about what we’re about.”

In August, Public Mobile refreshed its brand, with the help of AOR Cossette, which stepped away from being fully price-focused and instead made that one of the ways it showed love and affection for its customers, the key part of its new positioning. “All of these things link together and continue to evolve how Public is and will continue to be – that different wireless company in Canada that isn’t making you sacrifice the network quality to get great wireless, at an affordable rate,” MacLean says.

The “Positively Public” campaign, led by The T1 Agency, allowed people “a way to talk about what matters to them in an engaging way,” MacLean noted. It was amplified with digital billboards in Toronto and Vancouver, which showed some of the content people were sharing with the “#PublicMobilePDA” hashtag, while street teams on the ground encouraged passers by to participate.

“I definitely think, just by allowing consumers to become involved in the campaign, it allowed them to understand, on a deeper level, that Public Mobile truly does care about their customers by giving them the opportunity to share their own public displays of affection on a national scale,” say Alex Singleton, strategist at T1.

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Public’s mobile plans range from $15 to $50 per month, all of which include voicemail, call display and conference calling. It recently gave its customers a “free data booster” of two gigabytes and Black Friday deals that included things such as one month free on all plans and 5GB of free data. Rewarding customers and showing appreciation for their loyalty are two aspects of consumer demands that Public is responding to, MacLean notes, and are a key part of its brand.

“I think there’s a constant demand of consumers in the market, in general, around feeling that their wireless company is rewarding them and making them feel that we value their loyalty,” he says. “What a better platform than a company like ours, who actually has rewards for our customers and has specific rewards to loyalty, and also has an innately deep desire to focus [on] the consumer…[it’s] the core of what we do.”