The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing is gathering at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston this week for CTAM Summit ’08, its annual conference that recognizes the best in cable marketing and promotion and provides members the chance to get together in a collegial setting to compare notes and take the temperature of the cable business.
“CTAM is a way for folks who are doing the same things as I am to get together and share similar things and similar experiences. It is a fraternal type of organization, for support, advice and shared experience,” said Kevin Hill, senior director of core video marketing for Comcast. “It has been a help throughout my entire career. I’ve worked in other industries and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Amid the speakers, events and activities at the conference, which runs through Tuesday, the CTAM On-Demand/Multi-Platform Case Study Competition winners will be presented.
“The case studies scenarios are presented so others can learn from them,” Mr. Hill noted. “It makes for a powerful organization that can help you in your development as well as growing the business.”
There are four first-place winners in the case study competition:
“Comcast NJ on Demand,” Comcast NJ and Harmelin Media. The campaign employed a mix of traditional ad outlets including radio and newspapers with aerial banners to drive viewership to the on-demand window.
“Music & Movies,” NBC Universal and Music Choice. The campaign boosted poorly performing theatrical releases that had little hope of success in the on-demand market by identifying musicians in those films and cross-promoting their music videos with the films.
“John Adams,” HBO and ePrize. By taking advantage of every aspect of the HBO brand, from HD to online to ancillary tie-ins with iTunes and YouTube.com, this campaign found a way to successfully market a hard-sell historical miniseries.
And, in a tie, two Comcast Experience campaigns, “The Dark Knight” and “Spider-Man 3.” Comcast put a spotlight on both of the superhero films by reaching across every type of platform with campaigns that used exclusive original content in one case and the reformatting of the films to attract viewers to their on-demand runs.
In addition to the first-place winners, there were three runners-up:
Showtime, “Dexter” and “Brotherhood” multiplatform sampling and acquisition campaign. Capitalizing on the accolades and critical acclaim received by the Showtime series, the marketers offered free on-demand sampling, a linear free preview weekend and a one-of-a-kind, low-rate national new subscription offer.
WWE, Biggest Fan Promotion. By creating an interactive contest with their loyal fan base, the WWE had consumers submit 60-second videos for a contest, acquiring over 8,000 new sales for their niche service WWE 24/7.
Cox, Cox Interactive on-Demand. Cox worked with movie studios on particular titles in the on-demand window, setting them apart from the clutter.
“All the case studies, not just the winners, will be posted on CTAM’s workspace, which is accessible to On-Demand Consortium members,” said Sharon Radziewski, director of public relations for CTAM. “But at the Summit, Rentrak’s Carol Hinnant will moderate a panel discussion which will focus on the objectives, background, strategies, tactics and results of everybody’s campaigns.”
Rentrak and TelevisionWeek co-sponsored the competition.
“This is the fourth year, and this year it was expanded to include multiplatform, still with an emphasis on on-demand. What’s judged is very much the strategies, not the creative,” Ms. Radziewski said.
“The judges are marketing and on-demand experts and cross-platform experts in the industry,” she added. “A lot of the judges came from the on-demand consortium that CTAM organized. Peers judge each other’s campaigns.”
As on-demand expands and multiple platforms become more prevalent, the CTAM case-study competition carries more weight within the industry. “It’s highly revered among the on-demand consortia and it is well known among CTAM members. People in the industry know about it. One of the objectives of the campaigns is to use the other platforms to drive users toward their on-demand offerings, so that would be the purpose of the other platforms,” Ms. Radziewski said.
CTAM Summit ’08 will offer a wide variety of other events, as well, including some high-powered entertainment. There’ll be an HD special sneak preview of Sony’s new James Bond movie, “Quantum of Solace,” a Fuse party hosted by rapper LL Cool J and a concert featuring musician Ziggy Marley. On the business side, there are sessions on tackling interactive media, preparing for the DTV transition, how to make technical speak relevant to consumers, marketing to the aging baby boomers and successfully communicating across multiple platforms and more.