Optus - Being Memorable

Lauren Farquharson
18 Nov 2020
Optus is now in its fourth decade in the Australian market, and has undergone a few refreshes over this time to close the gap between itself and closest competitor, Telstra.

Although many would associate them as a brand who sponsor a wide range of sporting events, we take a look at what else makes them a distinguishable brand: their memorable advertising. Often using celebrity endorsements their brand ads are recognisable, frequently imitated and include the signature Optus cheeky personality.

To front its 2017 commercial Optus enlisted the help of actor and fast-food chain founder Mark Wahlberg. In Believe Big Wahlberg addresses fellow small business owners in the 30sec TVC, encouraging them to have self belief and back the intention of their dreams.

Closing off 2018 Optus launched its Both is Better famed ad, set in a fish and chip shop with a customer requesting not just regular salt, nor just chicken salt but requesting both with a deadpan expression. With 15sec and 30sec TVCs running into 2019, Optus used this skit to proclaim their unique coverage and value proposition across mainstream free-to-air TV and subscription TV.

Throughout 2019 the brand focused on communicating its broad coverage to the market using a number of pared-back, short TVC advertisements shot from various locations around Australia. With no dialogue aside from the prominent bland slogan "yes", followed up by a portal view into each location (featuring Jindabyne, NSW, Cowell, SA, Swan Hill, VIC, and Margaret River and Yallingup, WA). These region-specific creatives were aired on state specific channels and the campaign likely supported by more localised Out of Home additionally.

To coincide with the rollout of 5G in late 2019 Optus produced a handful of tongue-in-cheek infomercials as a lighter way to explain how the new capabilities worked in Now You Get It. Using character collectives starting with 'G' (Guitarists, Grannies, Game characters and Geniuses) Optus let their comedic 30sec advertisements do the talking to demonstrate how simple the 5G product is to use.

From mid-2020 Optus launched their brand positioning "It Starts With Yes", building on their 'Yes' tagline from previous years. Following the imposed restrictions experienced widely due to COVID-19, this brand sentiment felt like a breath of fresh air to many who may have been looking towards signs of freedom once again.

The longer length 60sec TV advert featured a group of children concocting a plan via Zoom - taking matters into their own hands to set up a trackway for their toy cars to race through. This imaginative short movie advert is backed by the popular soundtrack of the B-52's 'Rock Lobster': another example of Optus using next to no vocals within the actual advert itself, but letting the movie concept and iconic soundtrack tell a memorable and optimistic story.

At the same time as this TVC was released to market Optus also sponsored Australian Ninja Warrior, advertised heavily in Newspapers nationally, used mainstream radio and broad Out of Home to blanket the Australian market. Of course, this was supported by a range of digital placements to cement their new brand direction.

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