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Encore Media Group, a joint venture between Tele-Communications Inc. and Liberty Media, is launching $60 million in branding campaigns this month for its Starz! and Encore Movie Networks, appealing to baby boomers' appetite for first-run movies and their nostalgia for the films 0f their youth.

The Starz! campaign is budgeted at $40 million in cable and syndicated TV time, national radio networks and in-flight programming; spending for the Encore campaign will be $20 million, also in the same media. None of that spending will be on TCI properties.

Both campaigns will run through May. The Starz! effort kicked off last week and Encore ads begin today.


Advertising from Richards Group, Dallas, includes a new look for the Encore networks, with actor Martin Sheen providing voice-overs and movie critic Leonard Maltin doing commentary. The theme for Starz! is "Movies too big to miss" and, for Encore, "The movies of your life."

The Encore TV spots feature 30-second clips of film hits including "10," "Chariots of Fire" and "The Big Chill," with voice-over reminding viewers of what they felt when they saw the movie. The Starz! spots feature a new jingle, set to the tune of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, touting the channel's all-movie format, over clips of such fare as "Evita," "Ransom" and "The English Patient."

The Encore campaign has a twofold goal of increasing access to the channel and its penetration, said Chairman-CEO John Sie.

Encore is trying to increase its penetration in key cable systems. The service is rolling out this year in the New York metropolitan area.

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