Dish Turns to Millennials to Create Marketing for Sling TV

Digital and Mobile Will Be Key, but TV Commercials Will Play a Part Too

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Dish's new Sling TV service lets subscribers watch networks including ESPN, TNT and CNN.
Dish's new Sling TV service lets subscribers watch networks including ESPN, TNT and CNN.

To create the campaign for its new internet-based TV service, dubbed Sling TV, Dish Network is turning to the demographic it hopes to reach with the service: millennials.

Sling TV CMO Glenn Eisen said the company has hired only millennials as its copywriters for the "Take Back TV" campaign, which will debut later this month. While Mr. Eisen declined to reveal the agency it's working with on the creative, he said that actually everyone involved with the marketing are millennials.

The satellite operator announced at the Consumer Electronics Show this week that its slimmed-down TV package will be priced at $20 per month and feature cable networks like ESPN, CNN, TNT and Food Network, among others. Sling does not include any broadcast networks.

The target audience for the service is millennials and those consumers that reject the pay-TV model, Mr. Eisen said. There are about 25 million people in the U.S. or so who are not currently pay-TV subscribers, he added.

While Mr. Eisen couldn't provide specifics yet on the creative for the "Take Back TV" campaign, he said it will be in a language millennials understand and a tone they can appreciate.

The biggest chunk of marketing will be spent on promoting Sling TV on the distribution platforms where the service will be made available, such as gaming consoles, smartphones and over-the-top boxes like Roku, Mr. Eisen said.

With ESPN as the anchor of the service, Mr. Eisen also said Sling TV will be promoted on sports destinations.

And digital, mobile and social will also play key roles in the marketing of the service.

While traditional media will be a smaller part of the overall marketing strategy, Dish isn't completely shunning TV or print media. Mr. Eisen noted that the 18-to-35 demographic still watches a fair amount of TV content.

Ultimately, consumers will decide how Dish allocates its marketing budget, Mr. Eisen said. The company will shift its spending to the platforms where it sees the most reception and interaction.

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