DirecTV Broadband Pitches DSL

  |  October 18, 2002   |  Comments

The firm's ads will concentrate on services like VOIP and home networking to better sell the service.

With customers becoming more savvy about broadband, it's not enough to just promote the speed of connectivity, according to DirecTV Broadband. The ISP is revamping its DSL service pitch by focusing on value-added services.

While introductory ads in the ISP's new "My Gateway to a More Thrilling Internet" campaign continue the branding begun with last year's "Feel the Joy" effort, the latest ads concentrate on add-on services that DirecTV Broadband provides to its users.

In keeping with the earlier "Feel the Joy" theme, which focused on the fun of high-speed Internet connectivity, spots show a user of DirecTV DSL mistakenly applying online rules of conduct to real-life situations. For instance, one spot shows a subscriber earnestly asking a record-store clerk to sell him specific tracks off CDs. The DSL user also shows up during the middle of the night to view a home for sale.

But later ads will mark the first time the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's television advertising highlights value-added services, like parental controls and home networking/firewall services -- most of which require additional fees. In particular, DirecTV Broadband's ads will highlight its Voice Over IP offering, expected to be commercially available next month.

That's a departure for most consumer DSL and cable ISPs ads, which typically focus on the faster speeds and always-on connectivity of their services compared to dialup.

DirecTV said it built the premise of the campaign around research that indicated that consumers are already familiar with DSL and its providers. For that reason, the company said it's opting to concentrate on its value-added services as a competitive differentiator.

"Our fourth-quarter advertising campaign underscores our commitment, and our unique ability, to bring consumers much more than just fast Internet access," said DirecTV Broadband President and Chief Executive Ned Hayes. "Consumers want broadband to bring more options, more convenience, more time and more entertainment into their lives. Our new campaign demonstrates how our advanced and user-friendly technology helps to unlock a whole new world of broadband possibilities."

Often, broadband advertising also highlight special offers and promotional discounts, and in this regard, DirecTV follows suit. Its new ads also highlight a special package in which users who sign up for the service receive three months of DirecTV DSL at $19.99 per month -- as opposed to the usual price of $49.99 per month.

The television spots will be accompanied by direct mail, email and Web advertising components, the company said.

Spending on the DirecTV Broadband campaign was not disclosed. The ads were designed by Los Angeles office of Interpublic's Deutsch, which also handles ads for sister company DirecTV. Both DirecTV and DirecTV Broadband are subsidiaries of Hughes Electronics Corporation .

The effort to differentiate its service comes amid increasing -- and high-profile -- competition in the DSL sector. Last month, Yahoo took.

In ads running throughout its network, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo focuses on the high-speed aspects of DSL ("Internet at the speed of you"), a six-month discount on the service, and a personalized home page.

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