NBN launches 'Gen NBN' marketing campaign

The new marketing campaign features a 60-second TV ad, outdoor advertising, and targeted digital and social media advertising encouraging customers to use the NBN for home, business, education, and healthcare.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

The company rolling out Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) has launched a nationwide marketing campaign labelled "Gen NBN" to coincide with its rollout into several major cities during 2017.

The campaign was designed to tie in with Australia Day celebrations across the nation on Thursday, as well as with NBN's goal to reach "almost" half of all premises by mid-year.

NBN's marketing campaign suggests how those with an internet connection can use it in various facets of life, not just for traditional home connectivity services.

"We're leaving our generation to join one that's moving us forward," the TV ad says, before showcasing how business owners, remote workers, healthcare institutions, agricultural providers, and distance education students can utilise the NBN.

As well as the 60-second "It's time for gen NBN" TV ad, NBN will conduct targeted advertising on digital platforms and across social media; advertising in the press; and placing both large and small advertisements outdoors.

NBN also trademarked the phrase "gen NBN".

"We have reached a tipping point, where 3.8 million Australian homes and businesses can access the NBN network, and more than 1.6 million are connected. We have built enough of a footprint now that mass communication on a national scale is the most efficient and effective way for the company to reach our target market," said NBN executive general manager for Brand and Marketing Kent Heffernan.

"The campaign we've launched this week reflects the evolution of the NBN brand and our shift towards urban markets for the first time, including Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Moving into these new metro markets, we wanted the creative to speak to NBN as a visionary brand by showcasing the possibilities fast broadband will bring all Australians.

"National rollout messaging and metro-focused marketing strategies will help ensure everyone understands not only why to switch over to the NBN network, but when, how, and the benefits it can bring."

NBN did not provide a response on the cost of designing and executing its new marketing strategy, although it did involve engaging creative agency BWM Dentsu; media agency UM; PR and social media company One Green Bean; direct communications provider Lavender; web platform design company Adrenaline Media; and retail strategy provider Paragon Design Group.

When announcing its "almost" halfway point by mid-year, NBN also warned of possible civil works disruptions due mainly to gaining access to pits and existing infrastructure within high-density cities to roll out its fibre and cable broadband service.

"As the NBN network rolls out into cities, we will be met with new problems to solve," NBN CEO Bill Morrow said earlier this month.

"We understand there will be some disruption for residents and business owners as the 14,000 people working across NBN and our delivery partners complete the task as soon as possible."

Some of the cities in which NBN will begin construction or switch on its network are Sydney, Campbelltown, the Hills District, Warringah, and Randwick, New South Wales; Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast, Queensland; Hobart and Devonport, Tasmania; Fremantle and Bassendean, Western Australia; Salisbury and Onkaparinga, South Australia; and Moonee Valley City, Boroondara City, Casey City, Glen Eira City, and Knox City, Victoria.

In terms of further disruption, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) published research in December revealing that the process of becoming connected to the NBN is adversely affecting 43 percent of businesses.

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) also revealed in November that consumer complaints about the NBN doubled during 2015-16, up to 13,406 complaints.

Satellite users -- those who would arguably be most reliant on such advertised uses of the NBN as remote healthcare and distance education -- have also complained of lengthy delays in being connected, as well as service faults.

NBN recently revealed that there have been 520 complaints since the launch of satellite services in April, with the average closure time for complaints 21.4 days during October last year.

"Over the past two months, there have been issues with the software responsible for managing various aspects of the satellite network," NBN explained in response to Senate Estimates questions on notice.

"The root causes are understood, fixes have been identified, and we are in the process of rolling out new software to the network to improve stability and reliability.

"The total number of network faults since launch is 325 with an average restoration time of 1.5 hours. The total number of service faults raised by RSPs on behalf of end users since launch is 2,984; however, it should be noted that this is likely to include multiple reports relating to the same network fault or issue."

According to NBN's 2017 Corporate Plan, a base case of 2 million or 17 percent of premises will be covered by fibre to the premises (FttP); 6.1 million or 51 percent by fibre to the node (FttN), fibre to the basement (FttB), or fibre to the distribution point (FttDP); 2.8 million or 24 percent by hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC); and 1 million or 8 percent by fixed-wireless or satellite.

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