News

Cox Makes New 'Friends' for Campaign

6/06/2008 8:00 PM Eastern

Digital Max, the character Cox Communications used to represent its brand promise “Your Friend in the Digital Age,” has retired.

Consumers now have a new set of friends as part of the Atlanta-based MSO's brand refresh: the Digis. These animated characters, sort of robotic takes on the Sta-Puft marshmallow man, wearing space-aged visors in pink, green, blue or orange, are the new faces with the retained slogan.

Joe Rooney, Cox's chief marketing officer, said Max was created to urge consumers to buy the triple-play bundle of phone, Internet and video services.

Now that two-thirds of Cox's customers have bought that bundle, the message needed to be revised to focus on retention, Rooney said.

“ 'Your Friend in the Digital Age' is still relevant and fits hand-in-glove with the company goal” of branding itself as the most trusted provider of telecommunications in America, he said, but added, “Max is in mothballs.”

Rooney added a caveat, however. He may bring the character back if research shows he is especially relevant to a market segment.

The first Digis TV commercial has launched: a spot in which an Aliens-like pod spirals open, with the cute characters popping out and exiting what looks like a hangar.

“I think these guys will be terrific little brand ambassadors,” Rooney said, bearing the message that Cox will help customers optimize their technology experiences.

The Digis, designed by W.B. Doner & Co., the agency that also came up with Digital Max, are designed to appeal across generational segments. Cox research shows that senior citizens and baby boomers may complain the most about effectively using their technology.

But the Cox research also showed that 56% of echo boomers, those 12- to 25-year-old consumers who live on their cellphones, laptops and game systems, also report a need for technological assistance.

Cox has shot four versions of TV spots featuring the Digis. Rooney said the commercials were shot in South America to save money, adding the campaign will cost $1 to $3 million.

The campaign will also have an extensive online presence, which will roll out during the next few weeks.

For instance, the characters will have their own pages on Facebook and MySpace.