The two ads debuted during Sunday night's telecast of the 75th annual Academy Awards on Walt Disney Co.'s ABC. One of the new spots re-creates the opening sequence of the 1970s series The Six Million Dollar Man, using the show's voice-over ("Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. ... We can make him better, strong, faster.") and theme music. But instead of a rebuilt bionic man, the spot shows a much speedier version of AOL's yellow running man icon, which is meant to contrast with the older, slower dial-up service.
Earlier this year, AOL tapped Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, to devise a strategy to promote AOL Broadband and key entertainment properties such as AOL Music. The account is believed to be in the $150 million range. The first signs of its new consumer brand approach appeared on the Super Bowl and the Grammy Awards.
Nearly one-third of U.S. households have broadband Internet service now, according to Forrester Research. AOL has 34 million subscribers but only 3 million of them have broadband access.
The company's CEO, Jon Miller, has made broadband and exclusive content the cornerstone of AOL's growth strategy.