BSkyB launches digital TV in U.K.

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LONDON -- BSkyB, the U.K.'s leading multichannel satellite TV broadcaster, says it will break on October 1 a year-long $96 million above-the-line advertising campaign to herald the launch of its digital TV service in the U.K.

The massive consumer campaign will begin in late September with an outdoor board and magazine campaign with an unbranded teaser ad. The creative features "frustrated" televisions in various rooms transmitting the plaintive messages: "I can do more," "Let me give you control," "Why don't you interact with me." The tag line reads: "Your television's crying out for October 1."

On the October 1 launch day, the advertising will switch to the theme: "SkyDigital--it's what your TV's been crying out for." The campaign was created by M&C Saatchi and Universal McCann handles media planning and buying. The SkyDigital campaign will run on television, radio, magazines, posters and the Internet. There's also an extensive point-of-sale promotion at electronic goods retailers.

Jon Florsheim, director of marketing and distribution, says: "SkyDigital offers the widest choice of quality programming features, benefits and digital quality reception nationwide. It will enable viewers to have the greatest flexibility and control over what they watch. Control is a new principle in TV viewing--in essence it's the viewer's choice, not ours."

Viewers wanting to receive SkyDigital will have to pay $333 for a box to receive signals. The main advantages of digital TV offered by BSkyB are picture quality (in terms of color and depth of focus) and the number of channels to choose from.

Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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