Qwest-ing for a ‘Cure for Cable’

As the battle between cable and telecommunications giants heat up, Qwest has decided to sharpen its edge in an effort to attract new customers.

The regional provider of full-service voice, video and data services goes head-to-head with companies like Comcast and Cox Communications. To differentiate its service, which is available in 14 states, Qwest went straight to consumers to find out what they thought about the competition. Their response: service is poor and data speed slow.
Using these insights, Qwest launched two new campaigns on Nov. 3. The first, dubbed “Cure for cable,” appears to be a documentary about a man who was trapped in an elevator for 52 hours and subsequently lost his mind. He tells the faux interviewer: “it was kind of like waiting for the cable guy.” The second campaign, promises “Work speed Internet at home.”

“We were trying to find ways to talk [customer] experiences in new and different ways, using humor and presented in a way Qwest can uniquely own,” said Kim Whitehead, vp, marketing, at Qwest in Denver.

The effort, which includes TV, radio, print, online and outdoor, will debut in five markets. The tagline “Get in the loop” continues.

Qwest spent $95 million on media last year and $60 million-plus for the first eight months of the year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. “We’re rethinking the voice we have out there and how we can use those same dollars and make a message that is truly breakthrough,” said Whitehead.

Cary Pierce, executive vp, group management director, Draftfcb Chicago, said, the campaign sets the brand apart in “a competitive marketplace where there are lots of people talking about the same thing.”