Rogers Ignite cuts through the streaming maze

The telco positions SmartStream as the hero that lets you spend more time watching shows than finding them.

Rogers Ignite TV is positioning its SmartStream – Ignite Entertainment – service as something that can cut through the confusion and app jumping caused by the plethora of streaming choices out there.

The telco is positioning the latest effort for its OTT service around the disorientation that stems from navigating different streaming apps, a pain point which has been exacerbated by a bevy of launches over the last two years and the increased appetite for additional entertainment options during lockdowns, according to VP of brand Nancy Thomas.

Rogers’ latest creative, led by AOR Theo, features a confusing array of apps arranged in a maze, and a beleaguered mom trying to navigate them, admonished by her kids (who resemble the twins in The Shining). Thanks to integrated voice commands through SmartStream, a $5-per-month add-on service added to Ignite last year, she finds what they’re looking for.

For the first time, the brand is combining a live action shoot with heavy visual effects to better convey the sense of being lost, critical to deliver on the consumer insight of feeling overwhelmed by choices.

“With all the content choices, consumers are constantly switching from app to app and spending a lot of time searching for something to watch,” Thomas says. The maze visual, she says, allows the company to not just show the breadth of choice available to customers, but also how it makes it easier to zero-in on the content they’re looking for with SmartStream, which has become a key differentiator for Ignite.

The target for the broader Ignite TV offering, Thomas says, is customers who enjoy live TV and sports. The target audience for the SmartStream service, on the other hand, is more specifically customers who prefer not to subscribe to live TV services and instead only watch their content through streaming apps, the number of which has increased dramatically since late 2019.

This campaign, Thomas explains, also introduces the launch of Disney+ on the Rogers Ignite platform with an exclusive 12-month subscription offer, giving customers another reason to trial the service.

It’s part of what Rogers has said is a commitment to expand content offerings and provide an unmatched entertainment experience with more choice and convenience. In July, Rogers bolstered its content offerings by adding Spotify to its Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream platforms, granting customers access to more than 70 million tracks and over two and a half million podcasts.

The brand is looking to reach a mass demo through various touchpoints, which include TV, radio, OOH, as well as leveraging highly targeted digital executions. Rogers is activating on these platforms in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Ad spend, Thomas says, is comparable to prior campaigns for connected home services.