As the CTAM Summit ’08 convenes in Boston this week, one of the first-place winners honored in the CTAM On-Demand/Multiplatform Case Study Competition will be Comcast NJ On-Demand for a campaign that quite literally took to the air—not with 10-second radio spots, but over the New Jersey shore with fly-over banners.
“We tried to introduce nontraditional media forms, and in this case it was aerial advertising,” said John Camilleri, VP of Harmelin Media, which created the promotion for Comcast NJ.
“We changed that every week, with a plane carrying a banner highlighting the Comcast On-Demand movie. That was a way that we thought was very innovative,” Mr. Camilleri said.
2.2 Million Homes
The area that Comcast NJ On-Demand covers comprises almost 2.2 million homes. “We handle all Comcast’s regional activity both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” Mr. Camilleri said.
Located between two of the largest TV DMAs in the country, New York and Philadelphia, New Jersey doesn’t have a local TV market of its own. “The challenge we had was to market their VOD product to an area that wasn’t marketed to consistently in the past. Working within those parameters and on a challenging budget, we put together a plan that put them out in the marketplace.”
The campaign incorporated traditional marketing forms, radio and newspaper advertising. “One of the first things we did were 10-second radio spots, concentrating them on Thursdays and Fridays as close to the point of purchase as possible,” Mr. Camilleri said. “Another thing was newspaper ads, a very traditional media form. We put ads for the on-demand movies in the entertainment section.” The objective was to reach as many people as possible at the lowest possible cost on a consistent basis, week after week.
“The key strategy to our success is really just changing the message consistently,” Mr. Camilleri said. “Every week we had a different message, either from the radio, the newspaper or the aerial. It’s nice to say we have on-demand in order, but when you say what the title is and then you start showing the breadth of the titles that you have, that really starts to get to the public.”
What made this entry unique was that Harmelin Media thought outside the box on a platform that nobody else in the competition considered: fly-overs. But that’s not to say that Harmelin Media is not into other kinds of marketing outlets. “We’re considering behavioral marketing or going through [the Comcast-owned movie site] Fandango in the future,” Mr. Camilleri said.
One format Harmelin considered that would have truly qualified as thinking outside the box was a promotion in which the latest on-demand titles would be emblazoned on pizza boxes. “We almost had a pizza-box program in place, but production issues kind of foiled it here at the last minute,” he said.
The Comcast NJ/Harmelin campaign was very successful, with gross dollar orders up $2.4 million, or 18%, in the first six months of 2008 vs. the same period in 2007.
In addition, there’s the recognition from CTAM. “We’re very excited, of course,” Mr. Camilleri said. “We’re really looking forward to going to Boston and being with our colleagues from NBC, HBO and other CTAM winners as well.”