Conveying the lushness of high-definition content on a standard-definition screen is like showing color programming on a black-and-white set: It doesn’t work.
So when Voom Networks set out to promote its portfolio of 15 hi-def channels earlier this year, the HD service did not produce on-air spots for standard-definition TV. Instead, Voom selected hi-def venues outside the home-the Consumer Electronics Show, North Face stores and Premier Retail Networks, which pipes programming into TV sets in more than 6,000 retail shops, including Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Costco.
“When people see HD for the first time, their jaw drops,” said Greg Moyer, general manager of Voom HD Networks. “We called it the Bliss Campaign. Our whole message was ‘Savor the HD bliss,’ meaning when you see these images they are so realistic it’s like you can touch them.”
That’s why Voom wanted to showcase the hi-def content in its natural state on HD screens, rather than squeeze it into a standard-definition tube.
The Bliss Campaign started in January and is slated to run throughout the year, taking various shapes and forms depending on the programming Voom wants to promote at the time.
The marketing initiative kicked off at EchoStar’s booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, coinciding with EchoStar’s announcement that it was adding several HD channels, including all 15 Voom networks. EchoStar owns 20 percent of Voom.
After CES, Voom paired with Premier Retail Networks to show its spots in stores and then linked up with North Face.
The spots were crafted differently as well. Rather than fast one-second edits, the promos held shots as long as 25 seconds to hypnotize viewers, with images of an extreme skier making a 360-degree turn in the air, for instance, said Ben Rubin, VP of creative services for Voom.
Most recently, in June, the campaign migrated into Planet Hollywood locations to promote Voom’s James Bond film festival on Film Fest HD, a Voom channel.
Title: General manager, Voom HD Networks
How long in current position: Since September 2005
Year of birth: 1953
Place of birth: Tallahassee, Fla.
Who knew? Mr. Moyer said he consumes about three hours of content each day on his iPod, including podcasts, TV shows and music.
Title: VP and creative director, Voom HD Networks
Year of Birth: 1970
Place of birth: New York
Who knew? When Mr. Rubin worked for Fox-owned KDVR-TV in Denver, he lived on a commune in nearby Boulder, Colo., and didn’t own a television. That omission was noted in a job review, so he bought a TV set and kept it in the closet.