Internode has launched a cheeky ad campaign featuring a blue VW kombi van, pointing out its superior value compared to BigPond.
The two ads will feature on 29 billboards in Sydney and 10 in Adelaide, at a cost of $350,000 to Internode. The taglines are: "Are you being taken for a ride?” and “If you’ve been everywhere man, it’s probably time for an upgrade", and promote Internode's $49.95 plan with 50GB included. By contrast, BigPond's comparable ADSL plan (that does not require a home phone service to be bundled) only offers 2GB of data.
Internode Media manager Tom McQueen said the brief for the ad agency was to target “BigPond refugees”. “We’re telling BigPond customers there is somewhere better to go,” he said.
“The idea behind these ads is to communicate with BigPond customers in areas where they live and travel, and to make them question the value they get from BigPond. We believe Internode Easy Broadband, our most popular home broadband plan at $49.95 a month, offers far better value than similarly priced BigPond plans.
“BigPond has more than two million broadband customers and it’s losing more customers each week than it gains. That represents a significant opportunity for us to expose them to the Internode brand and the value we offer.”
Internode Managing Director Simon Hackett says he is not concerned about overstepping the line legally with Telstra. "We thought that through carefully (with legal advice) before proceeding," he said. "It is our view that there is no trademark on a picture of a blue campervan."
It's the first large-scale advertising campaign the ISP, which is now 19 years old, has ever undertaken. It has traditionally reached its customers via social media avenues like Whirlpool, and has grown its customer-base organically through word-of-mouth. It frequently tops customer satisfaction surveys, such as those run by Choice Magazine and Whirlpool.
Internode has also been an outspoken defender of network neutrality. Internode engineer Mark Newton (acting in a personal capacity, not as a company representative) will debate Communications Minister Stephen Conroy on ABC Radio tonight over the controversial internet filtering scheme.
In related news, Telstra today announced that BigPond Chief Justin Milne had quit the company, and will be replaced by J-B Rousselot, a six-year veteran of Telstra, who will become Executive Director of Voice, Broadband and Media as the company "looks at the next stage of its digital media strategy".