DirecTV Asks Viewers to Feel the Joy

11/05/2000 7:00 PM Eastern

DirecTV Inc. late last month launched a new television ad campaign that depicts the excitement new customers feel once their new direct-broadcast satellite system is installed.

The first spot, called "The Big Hug," shows a new DirecTV customer hugging his installer after hearing once again about all the programming that's available through the system.

In another spot, a new customer says "I love you," to the installer, who replies simply, "I know sir." The tag line for both spots is, "Feel the Joy."

"We're trying to capture the DirecTV experience," senior vice president of marketing Susan Collins said. "The product overdelivers to such an extent people are thrilled to be a DirecTV customer."

The fictional installer not only helps to personalize the DirecTV experience, but also calls attention to the company's free professional installation offer, which runs through the holiday selling season.

In recent years, DirecTV's ads have moved away from focusing on the satellite dish itself. But in this case, Collins said, the dish and installer are integral to the offer.

"There is a perception that, potentially, this is a very difficult piece of equipment to have in your home, and it really isn't," Collins said.

DirecTV is spending "in excess of tens of millions of dollars" for the campaign, in addition to what the company will pay for the free installations themselves, Collins said. The direct-broadcast satellite company will spend even more on this fourth-quarter effort than it did on its recent campaign supporting its "NFL Sunday Ticket" out-of-market pro football package.

DirecTV had originally planned to launch the free-installation campaign on Nov. 2, and had bought upfront ad time to support that launch. But the company decided to buy additional broadcast time starting Oct. 24 because the free installation offer was already in the market.

Buying media time during the election wasn't easy, Collins noted, but DirecTV managed to do it.

DirecTV's television ads are expected to run for about two weeks in November and return for an additional two-week flight next month.

The new Deutsch Inc.-produced spots will air on both cable and broadcast networks, especially during National Football League games and other sports-related programming. DirecTV is also supporting the professional installation offer through newspaper and radio ads, and retailers will also run ads of their own.

"We are all hoping and praying this is the best fourth quarter [for DirecTV] ever," Collins said. "Everybody starts to hold their breath about now and lets it out again in mid-January."

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