Time Warner Cable Sends Road Runner Packing


Time Warner Cable has finally done what Wile E. Coyote has attempted to do with every tool imaginable for eons: rid the screen of that pesky Road Runner.

The little speedster has been a longtime mascot for the cable operator’s high-speed Internet service, called Road Runner, but the mascot is being “replaced by the line drawing of a human eye and ear that is used to promote TWC’s cable-TV and phone services,” Fortune (another Time Warner property) reports.

A vestige of the days when Time Warner Cable was part of Time Warner (it was spun off in 2008 in a separation that was finalized the following year), the speedy Warner Bros. cartoon character was adopted by the company’s cable operation as the brand for its high-speed Internet service, which will still be called “Road Runner,” but now comes in many more flavors including Road Runner Mobile, PowerBoost and WiFi hotspots.[more]

TWC spokesperson Jeannette Castaneda tells Fortune that it’s part of a “brand refresh” that will try to “create excitement around the eye-ear symbol” that is Time Warner Cable’s corporate logo.

As Fortune points out, it’s all about bundling for cable companies, offering combo deals with phone, TV, and Internet all wrapped up, so having a separate identity for the high-speed broadband part of the package doesn’t make snese. When Time Warner initially offered Road Runner, it was all on its own.

Plus, Fortune notes, speed used to be “the main selling point for cable-modem Internet services,” but “high-bandwidth service is widespread” these days.

However, Time Warner denies that the latter reason was why the Road Runner has disappeared, Fortune adds.

So farewell, Road Runner — and so long to commercials such as this: