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The latest entrant in the competitive direct broadcast satellite provider market will spend $50 million in advertising, including $10 million this month, to tout its benefits.

Echostar Communications Corp., marketer of DISH Network, launched its first ad campaign May 1. It's trying to establish itself as the most innovative, low-cost, high-value satellite service available.

The humorous TV and print campaign by Woolward & Partners, San Francisco, features the character Dishman, the "Crusader for Better Television," who wears a satellite on his head and touts DISH Network's quality and value.


"We're taking a mainstream, aggressive approach," said Barbara Sullivan, VP-marketing at Echo-star, who noted there are 65 million cable viewers not satisfied with their service. "We're not just selling a complex direct broadcast satellite system. We're selling the network to average consumers."

Echostar joins DirecTV and Primestar as leading marketers of residential DBS service in the U.S.

DISH Network, like DirecTV, features an 18-inch satellite dish and more than 200 channels of digital video, audio and data services. Primestar's dish measures 3 feet wide by 2 feet tall and offers more than 100 channels of entertainment.

DirecTV and Primestar, meanwhile, are continuing their marketing efforts.

DirecTV, with 1.25 million subscribers, will sponsor musician Sting's summer concert tour and recently launched an estimated $20 million print, direct mail and spot TV campaign by FCB/Leber Katz Partners, New York.

Primestar hopes to double its subscriber roster to 2 million homes in 1996 with a $60 million ad drive by Adler Boschetto Peebles & Partners.

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