Ecobee ‘imagines’ a new brand platform

FCB/Six's first work for the smart home brand aims to introduce people to complex tech in an emotionally relevant way.

Ecobee is inviting consumers to imagine their future home through a new campaign platform.

The Canadian smart home brand, in conjunction with agency FCB/Six, is launching “Imagine What Home Could be,” anchored by a tagline of the same name.

The creative shows a girl walking the viewer through a home kitted out with smart tech, her infant sister being monitored in her crib, censors letting people know when someone unexpected shows up, and keeping the home climate-controlled.

FCB/Six ECD Colin Craig tells strategy that by laying out a vision of what a future home can be, its key consideration is not only pure brand expression, but also having a concept that can support explanations of products and services in a way that’s more relevant and interesting – something that is still needed, as the smart home solutions category remains unique to many, filled with complex offerings from both traditional and new players.

In 2020, Ecobee launched home monitoring and subscription platform, Haven. It includes monitoring solutions such as a SmartCamera with voice control, SmartSensors for doors and windows, all featured in the spot.

Historically, Craig says brand attribution is something Ecobee has struggled with a bit. While it was first into the market with smart thermostats, there were now bigger entrants and it “wanted a strongly branded solution that was unmistakably Ecobee in its execution.”

“From the use of colour, to the campaign’s recurring ‘squircle’ shape, to the ‘be’ mnemonic device, it’s all put together to be distinctively and undeniably Ecobee,” Craig says.

The brand is dispensing with its “Smart that makes a difference” tagline. According to Ecobee’s director, marketing communications Kristen Johnson, it wanted to better convey the sense of wonder a bit more thoughtfully, something it’d be able to hang its hat on for years to come.

“We wanted to bring through a lot of that emotion that we keep at the heart of our company,” Johnson says.

While it’s been a challenging year for many, Johnson says there’s never been a better time for people to invest in their home and that Ecobee has actually seen its business grow.

The North American campaign introducing the new brand platform is digitally led, supported with TV, but also has OOH formats, like a rail wrap, coming to the TTC eventually. It’s a split market approach with video and media nationally, but also more geographically targeted ads in places like Austin, Texas to test high-impact creative.

When it comes to the competitive set, Johnson says while the space is strongly contested, it’s more about developing market share rather than stealing it. It’s not just Google or Amazon, but brands like Apple that make incredible experiences and set the standard for technological experiences, she says.

FCB/Six was awarded the North American Ecobee business in early October after an RFP process that began the month prior. The new partnership has also included working alongside partners Cossette Media and digital agency Search & Gather.