DirecTV breaks Deustch ad

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DirecTV, El Segundo, Calif., on Oct. 24 breaks the first TV spot in a new fourth-quarter ad and marketing blitz estimated at more than $150 million. The commercial, part of the "Feel the joy'' campaign, marks the first work from Deutsch, Marina del Rey, Calif. for DirecTV as its new agency of record. DirecTV, the nation's biggest digital satellite TV programming provider, chose Deutsch in August after a lengthy review; the agency created the company's "NFL Sunday Ticket'' advertising on a project basis this summer.

The new 30-second spot, title "A Big Hug,'' breaks on prime-time network shows and national cable, taking a lighthearted approach to how consumers feel when they first subscribe to DirecTV's 200-channel universe. In the spot, a professional installer interacts with a variety of different consumers. He rattles off all the features of the DirecTV service and moves to shake the customer's hand, when the customer hugs him instead. "With this work we wanted to really tap into consumers' emotional involvement both with the brand and the product," said Susan Collins, senior VP-marketing at DirecTV. After months of research, Ms. Collins said, "While consumers give you all the rational reasons [that they become customers], it's really the emotional reasons that we wanted to capture." DirecTV will follow the initial spot with at least three more :30s that break Nov. 4. One of them shows a little girl asking an installer questions about her favorite channels.

The campaign is bundled with a promotion offering subscribers free installation of the DirecTV system through mid-January when they choose the Total Choice programming package. The campaign also features 60-second network radio spots, ads in Parade magazine, banner ads on America Online and a heavy presence in magazines such as Entertainment Weekly, People and Sports Illustrated. Newspaper ads in USA Today also are part of the mix.

Separately, Hughes Electronics Corp., DirecTV's parent company, launched a new global brand effort to position itself and its four key business units--DirecTV, DirecTV Latin America, Hughes Network Systems and PanAm Sat--as a digital communications leader. The effort is by GlobalWorks Group, New York. Hughes gets a new logo and tagline: "Breaking the thought barrier."

Copyright October 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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