Shaw introduces Shaw Mobile to Western Canada
On July 30, 2020, Shaw announced its new, flagship mobile brand, Shaw Mobile, which will serve customers in Alberta and British Columbia, and help it distinguish its value from primary competitor Telus.
Shaw Mobile brings together the company’s internet and wireless assets: customers will be able to use at-home WiFi, as well as Shaw’s network of WiFi hotspots throughout Western Canada while they are on-the-go, in addition to cellular coverage. This likely helps Shaw keep costs low, which it passes on to customers in the form of $45/mo. unlimited plans, or by-the-gigabyte options ($10/GB/month).
Shaw Mobile’s launch ushered in a new brand platform for Shaw Communications: Brighter Together. The company wants to tap into three qualities through the new brand platform: human connection, optimism and value. The theme of brightness can be observed throughout its marketing for the cellular service.
Shaw’s initial video spot featured the theme of brightness to convey connectivity, as well as brighter days ahead. The ad had a similar feel to T-Mobile’s marketing for 5G, which shows 5G infusing a monochrome world with light and color and uses the tagline “Brighter Future for All.”
Shaw proclaimed a “bright new day” across owned social. That theme is echoed on the website, where Shaw Mobile is described as “The bright choice for mobile.”
Shaw started running Facebook video ads prompting viewers to “learn more” about Shaw Mobile on July 31. Shaw’s Facebook ads went after both pure prospects and existing internet subscribers to promote the new offering. As expected, the ads ran primarily in Calgary and Vancouver.
What we think
A market for affordable unlimited
There’s an opportunity for affordable, quality unlimited wireless in Canada. Shaw Mobile’s new $45/mo. unlimited plan may appeal to cost-conscious Canadians who feel unlimited data is too expensive. According to Mintel research on Canadian mobile network providers, more than 75% of Canadians feel that unlimited wireless plans are too expensive. In particular, those residing in British Columbia were more sensitive to the pricing of unlimited plans, with more than 80% agreeing that these plans are too expensive (70% of Albertans agreed).
The success of mobile services from US cable providers could hint at a bright future for Shaw Mobile. US providers Comcast and Charter Communications are rapidly bringing on new cellular customers by cross-selling their internet base with low-cost wireless options. Like Shaw, each provider offers unlimited data at $45/mo. along with data-by-the-gigabyte options. In Q2 2020, Charter Communications brought on more postpaid phone net additions than any of the Big Three US carriers. If Shaw Mobile proves to be a fast, reliable service (in addition to its compelling price point), it could have an edge up on Telus.