Rogers makes reliable internet a lockdown stress reliever

As speed becomes less of a differentiator, the telco's latest Ignite campaign instead aims to give customers the confidence that it'll work.

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With every competitor touting the speed of its internet, Rogers is instead emphasizing a more human element to tout its services, reflecting a lockdown environment where reliability is more important to de-stressing.

In its integrated campaign, promising “stress-free WiFi,” a family flashes back to a tension-filled experience with a different service provider; they toss devices out their front window and come apart at the seams, before transforming physically with haircuts and improved complexion.

Supplemental digital collateral reinforces the theme, parodying skincare advertising with the promise of younger, more radiant skin with a reliable ISP.

The campaign was developed by Theo, the WPP agency created specifically to service Rogers in 2020. CCO Angus Tucker says that rather than industry standard braggadocio about whose network is the fastest or largest, the agency approached it through the consumer’s eyes to reflect unique pandemic circumstances.

When you think about what happened last year, everyone is relying on home internet in ways heretofore unimaginable with Zoom calls and kids learning from home, says Nancy Thomas, VP of brand at Rogers. When the pandemic first struck last March, Rogers told a House of Commons committee that internet usage spiked 50%, with Canadians continuing to turn to online experiences during this stressful time.

Internet speed, long the most prominent feature promoted in telco advertising, has become less of a differentiator between providers, and the minor differences between most high-speed packages they offer do not have much of an impact on performance, even in our increasingly streaming-based lives. But with the internet becoming even more critically important to our day-to-day, dependability and reliability of that connection have now become the key benefit in the minds of consumers, Thomas says, giving consumers the confidence they need when choosing an internet service.

“People just want it to work,” Thomas says. “When the Internet is unreliable, it is super stressful. [This campaign is] really about finding the human benefit within that.”

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Ergo, the brand is leaning heavily into reliability with its “Ignite WiFi Promise,” which, according to its website, is Rogers’ commitment to providing strong wall-to-wall WiFi backed by an advanced fibre-powered network monitored proactively around the clock. 

Rogers’ broad target audience has not changed, Thomas says, but the importance of the product to that target has. She could not disclose whether spend was higher or lower than prior efforts around its internet service.