Big, bold and singleminded: From UPC to Virgin Media - The story of 2015's most successful Irish brand transformation

Agencies: Irish International BBDO and OMD

Introduction & Background

Since launching in May 2010 and rolling out Ireland's first fibre-powered network, UPC had succeeded in establishing a broadband high ground, and securing market share1.

But it was a brand in danger of extinction.

UPC grew exponentially from 2007 to 2010, but as a brand it was all brain and no heart. In the eyes of the consumer, it remained steadfastly a utility and not a top tier brand. Instead of investing in brand building activity in the halcyon days of growth, UPC shored up market share through deep discounting and rational messaging.

The market changed and by 2013 it had become highly commoditised. Powerful brands like Sky were cleaning up and eating into the UPC offering.

Over 2014 and 2015, a new commercial team joined the business and began to look at the options, including repositioning UPC or launching a Virgin Media brand - a brand acquired by Liberty Global (UPC's parent).