Dish Network Set to Bring on Richards Group for Creative

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Vivek Khemka, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Dish Network Corp., speaks during an event at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016.
Vivek Khemka, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Dish Network Corp., speaks during an event at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Dish Network is set to bring on The Richards Group as its new creative agency, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Dallas-based agency was selected following a competitive review which was handled by Avidan Strategies, they said. Representatives from Richards Group and Avidan were not immediately available for comment.

Camp & King, Dish Network's previous agency, declined to participate in the review. The shop declined to comment on why they decided not to compete for the business.

According to the RFP document obtained by Ad Age, Dish recently "repositioned its brand to move away from a focus on price" to "develop a meaningful relationship with consumers." The document states that "The Spokeslistener" TV campaign, which was created by Camp & King last February as part of Dish Network's "Tuned In To You" brand platform, sought to demonstrate the company's benefits to new and existing customers.

"We have been searching for an agency to help us advance the voice of our Spokeslistener and 'Tuned In To You' brand promise, as we seek to continue our lead in delivering the best customer service in the pay-TV industry. At this point, we're not in a position to announce the results of that search," said Jay Roth, CMO and senior VP of Dish, via email.

The assignment for the brand's new agency partner, according to the RFP, is "evolve the general market Spokeslistener campaign (Spokeslistener 2.0) to break through the clutter in the category." The new agency is also tasked with developing a "separate but complimentary segmented marketing campaign targeting small-town America" using "a strong emotional connecting (the heart) that appeals to the unique values of small-town America," the document states.

Earlier this year, Ad Age reported that Dish Network is working with Comscore to measure addressable ads targeted to individual households no matter where or how they are watched, including through its over-the-top service Sling TV. According to Comscore, addressable advertising on TV is expected to grow 66 percent this year to $1.3 billion.

Dish Network was ranked at No. 73 on the 2017 Ad Age 200 Leading National Advertisers list, having spent $603.2 million on U.S. advertising in 2016, a 4 percent increase from the previous year. According to the Ad Age Datacenter, Dish also increased its media spend on Sling TV by 333 percent to about $46.2 million last year.

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