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Comcast Makes VOD Promos an Experience

Nov 9, 2008  •  Post A Comment

At the CTAM Summit ’08 in Boston this week, cable industry giant Comcast has two first-place winners in the CTAM On-Demand/Multiplatform Case Study Competition.

Comcast marketing professionals Kevin Hill and James Shaud will share honors for the Comcast Experience campaigns they spearheaded for the on-demand presentations of the theatrical films “The Dark Knight” and “Spider-Man 3.”

CTAM Summit

  • Learning From One Another . . . More »
  • N.J. a Fly-Over State for Comcast . . . More »
  • NBCU Digital Hits Right Note . . . More »
  • Comcast Makes VOD Promos an Experience . . . More »
  • HBO’s Labor of Love . . . More »
  • Runners-up: WWe, Cox, Showtime . . . More »

“The significance of winning for me is two-fold,” said Mr. Hill, senior director of core video marketing, who worked on “The Dark Knight” VOD campaign. “First, it’s recognition of all the hard work done by so many different people and so many different functions done to put this together. The second thing is that we have this world-class platform on-demand and online. We’re a leader as an entertainment company, and being able to find ways to continue to demonstrate that to the consumer and having them respond the way they do was very exciting.”

For “Dark Knight,” the Comcast Experience offered original content that was not in the theatrical film across platforms. “We worked with the filmmakers and what they wanted to do was sort of create a prequel of six mini-movies to get people excited and prepare them for this movie that was coming out,” Mr. Hill said. “They created a significant amount of original content for us. When the movie got here, the consumers were clamoring for it.”

The Comcast Experience for “Spider-Man 3” was as effective but different. “There was so much pent-up interest and demand for that movie that our campaign was about people getting a glimpse of the characters, the villains like Sandman,” said Mr. Shaud, national manager of promotions and marketing for Comcast. “It wasn’t the mini-movies like ‘The Dark Knight.’ We looked at the historical properties of the first two ‘Spider-Man’ movies and got everyone caught up with the story and what those movies were about. They were like 10-minute recaps.”

Like Mr. Hill, Mr. Shaud is looking forward to talking about the case study at CTAM. “It’s really wonderful to be recognized. We started this whole idea of working with movies, and it’s new and something that hasn’t been done before. Looking back now, it seems like it was such a natural fit…. We’re already in the entertainment space, so it made so much sense to partner with a movie when it’s in a theatrical window.”

In the fashion of one of the villains from “Spider-Man 2”—Doc Ock, the scientist who operated mechanical tentacles—Comcast approaches the opportunities to market across multiple platforms as if it’s an octopus. “We have created this diagram that we actually call ‘the wheel.’ The property and the content is in the middle and then all of the different marketing tactics we use and all the different platforms we use are in another wheel. It is exactly like an octopus,” Mr. Hill said of the 14-month-long campaigns.

“It all starts with world-class content, then we go from product group to product group, field office to field office, explaining the strength of the partnership and how it can be used whether it’s print, media, TV, online, on-demand, telephone product, and it’s literally a Chinese menu of tactics that everyone can tap into,” he said.

At the CTAM Summit, Mr. Shaud and Mr. Hill will be part of the panel discussion featuring the winning campaigns, and they’re eager to meet with their peers.

“This type of forum provides everyone with an insight into what other people are working on and how they learn from that,” Mr. Shaud said. “They are talking about the best practices, how we can adapt them within their own organization.”

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