Mr. Jolna, 47, chief programming officer and VP-advertising and marketing, put together deals with HBO, NBC, Philips Electronics and Sony for TiVo, the personalized TV service delivered through TV set-top boxes that digitally records and stores TV programs.
An advertising campaign launched by Campbell-Ewald, Los Angeles, was used to drive DirecTV viewers in six top markets to Best Buy, Circuit City and Sears, Roebuck & Co. The campaign, "You run the show," also used local co-op advertising.
More significant energy went into the buzz factor. "We mounted a furious effort to bring together the leaders of the TV industry to propel personal TV forward with investments and partnership agreements," says Mr. Jolna, a former chief of special programming at CNN.
"One of those included an extensive relationship with Creative Artists Agency to introduce TiVo to CAA's roster of stars," he says. "It was meant to be a word-of-mouth campaign to get them talking about it and generate excitement about . . . TiVo."
Although Mr. Stern is not on the CAA roster, Mr. Jolna cites him as "one of our great champions on the air."
Nearly 3,000 stores have been carrying TiVo since fall, and Mr. Jolna continues to expand marketing with a summer campaign due from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.
Mr. Jolna says TiVo is in the midst of brainstorming creative ideas with AOL Time Warner to present a new format on TiVo.
"We haven't defined the specifics yet," he says, but adds. "AOLTV should come out this summer and we are targeting the AOL-TiVo product for 2001."