DAVID BOWIE FALLS TO EARTH FOR SATELLITE RADIO

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- XM Satellite Radio Holdings, which awarded its $100 million advertising budget more than a year ago to TBWA/Chiat/Day will break its first 60-second ad Aug. 10 in 3,000 movie
David Bowie crashes through a motel roof to announce XM Satellite radio.
theaters nationwide to promote the launch of its satellite radio service.

The campaign, themed "Radio to the Power of X," will feature musical greats David Bowie, B.B. King, and Snoop Dogg.

XM will broadcast 100 digital-quality music, news, talk, sports and entertainment channels -- 71 will be genre-specific music channels, about 30 of which will be commercial free. The service will cost $9.99 a month.

Starting a buzz
The in-theater ad will run in August and September, before the service launches and traditional media advertising begins. Moviegoers "are a great demographic for us -- young people that are entertainment-oriented," said XM Senior Vice President of Marketing Steve Cook. "It's a way for us to start the buzz on a national basis early on."

The national ad effort from the Playa del Rey, Calif.-based Omnicom Group shop will feature eight TV spots, as well as print, radio, outdoor, direct mail and online elements. David Bowie, Snoop Dogg and B.B. King are featured in three 30-second spots, promoting XM's rock, hip-hop and blues channels, respectively.

"We were trying to ... communicate this revolutionary new radio service and the fact that we're delivering a wider range of content," Mr. Cook said. "Adding in the artists is a way to signal that it's all about great music, and it brings a bigness to the campaign that is worthy of a $100 million launch," he added.

Satellite problems
XM, which postponed its late-spring launch due to problems with its satellites, will begin broadcasting Sept. 12 in Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego. A country-wide rollout will follow throughout the fourth quarter, ramping up to the holiday season, a critical time for the consumer electronics segment.

XM said it plans to begin its national ad campaign in early November, as part of the $45 million it will spend on media in the fourth quarter.

Although initial advertising focuses on category benefits, Mr. Cook said over time XM's marketing might shift to try to differentiate the company from its competitor, Sirius Satellite Radio.

Sirius, which also delayed its Spring launch, has not yet set a specific launch date but has said it will begin broadcasting sometime this fall.

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