• Funny sells – but not always

    Funny sells – but not always
    16.50 Europe/London, September 22, 2011 By Robert Briel

    CTAM EuroSummit ’11. Funny commercials proved to be the way out for Comcast. Being the ‘big guy’ as the largest cable operator it could not run ads comparing its services with those of the newcomers, as it would be perceived as unfair to the ‘little guys’.However, by making them funny, Comcast was able to get the message across that its broadband service was much faster than the DSL competition, said John Vonk, video products, Comcast. Combining these funny spots with a new brand, Xfinity, Vonk said the results were clear: 1 million additional households are now considering taking the Xfinity service.

    The spots also proved to help retention: the number of subscribers intending to stay was up 65%, while the number of new customers considering Xfinity was up between 30 and 40%.

    Vonk also told the audience that trying to introduce technical limitations to services often has an adverse effect. The very first instance of content owners trying to restrict technology was when the Hollywood studios tried to stop the Sony Betamax machine. In this case, the US Supreme Court ultimately decided such a device is the right of the consumer.

    More recently, content owners are trying to make fast forward in on-demand services impossible – so people can’t skip ads. As a result, this drives viewers back to the PVR, where they can still fast forward.

    Another example are the pre-roll ads in online streaming video. “People just stop watching them or they turn the volume of the sound down.”

    Nico Rijkhof, director brand and marketing communication at Ziggo, told the audience that clever funny commercials don’t always achieve their goal. He showed a campaign from a few years ago in which Dutch celebrities sang the praise of putting their favourite TV evening together with the cabler’s interactive TV service.

    “The campaign won every prize imaginable, but we had almost zero sales,” said Rijkhof, “because at the time people didn’t know what interactive TV meant.” On paper, the briefing was clear: no technical features, no price claims. Meanwhile, Ziggo is now very successful with its digital TV products.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Funny sells – but not always started by chris View original post