“Look at your phone. Now back to me. Now back to your phone. Now back to me. Sadly your phone isn’t me…” Was this really the script Telus had in mind for their latest ad campaign promoting Pat Prefontaine as their front man?
For those who don’t already know, Telus recently launched a series of ads that smell a whole lot like a wildly successful Old Spice Man campaign. While Telus is not the only company attempting to ride on the coattails of Old Spice’s success, they are certainly the most surprising. (See McDonald’s latest Quarter Pounder Deluxe commercial as another debatable imitation).
A lesson in brand building: When you take years investing in memorable and mighty powerful “brand standards”, stick to your guns. Telus has fallen far from its brand strategy of catchy jingles, bright and cute animals, and thin purple helvetica type by incorporating the use of a human element. The commercials feature Pat Prefontaine; a cross between the knowledge of Tony Robbins and the charisma of the Old Spice guy (Isaiah Mustafa) …but without the charm.
Surely the existing Telus ads were dated and in need of something new and refreshing, but to step entirely away from everything we remember with something that doesn’t tie back at all might have been a stretch. Telus has rolled out a series of informational videos hosted by Pat giving you tips on how to maximize your mobile potential. As seen at http://patprefontaine.com/
That said, the Old Spice Man should not be mistaken for the first memorable and comical character with a hint of mystery in his veins. Let us not forget that before Isaiah Mustafa there was The Most Interesting Man in the World.
Do you think deliberately gambling on someone else’s viral success will have a positive or negative effect on the Telus brand? We’d love to hear your thoughts.