Ad Nut
Aug 23, 2019

Maxis tries to make network quality interesting

With Ensemble and Initiative, the Malaysian telco takes a good stab at explaining something people generally don't want to hear about.

Maxis tries to make network quality interesting

Telcos have a tough lot in life. No one wants to hear about—or even think about—the details of the network they're using to access the internet. Your service either works to your satisfaction, or you move to a new provider at the earliest opportunity.

Telcos need to build brand affinity to combat this. And to do so they pretty much have to attempt to make a case for their network's superior speed and quality. But that discussion naturally gets really technical really quickly. And that's when people's eyes glaze over as their minds wander off to more interesting topics, such as 17th-century tariff structures.

All of the above means Ad Nut has to commend a new campaign by IPG Mediabrands agencies Ensemble Worldwide and Initiative for Malaysian telco Maxis. It's not going to win any Lions, but it manages to build a good case in a breezy way without being inaccurate and without even once mentioning routers or backhaul bandwidth. 

It does so mainly by distilling the highly technical into the simple, positive tagline, 'Our network is ready', under the branding of 'A.I. Network'. By AI, the brand means not artificial intelligence but 'advanced and intelligent'. That's a clever bit of co-opting. The buzzword may not be 100% technically appropriate in this case, but it captures the essence of the network upgrades Maxis is actually talking about.

Ad Nut must pause here to observe that those upgrades are pretty much exactly like the upgrades every other serious telco worldwide is doing*. But that's kind of the point of marketing, isn't it? If you can express a non-exclusive benefit better than your competitors, you can make bank on it.

Anyway, Ad Nut thinks the website and the explainer video below do about as good a job as you can expect of explaining the network capabilities in realistic ways that connect with things users care about, without getting too technical. The cartoon T-Rex helps.

The agencies are using contextual targeting and variable creative in delivering the campaign. With the involvement of Kingdom Digital, Growth Ops and media partners, the agencies say, they analysed Internet behaviours to curate more than 100 different ad versions, carrying more than 1000 ad messages. The personalisation extends across all media platforms, including TV, OOH and radio, according to a release.

The campaign runs until the end of the year. Here's some more bits of the work.

* Ad Nut's expertise on telco activities doesn't just come from running across phone lines all day. Ad Nut also has's say "close friend" who happens to know a fair amount about network infrastucture.

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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