ABC Cable Uses Content To Drive Modem Growth

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ABC Cable Networks Group will unveil four broadband content promotions in 2003, designed to help cable operators push cable-modem service to a wider audience. "We want to help them drive their high-speed business," said ABC Cable vice president of distribution and strategy Albert Cheng. "We have content and can assist with high speed promotion and education."

Earlier this year, ABC and Cox Communications Inc. staged a test promotion. In May, a "Dancing Lizzie McGuire Game" and associated content was made available at the high-speed section of Cox's Web site (www.cox.com).

The exclusive content was designed to show the benefits of high speed by using characters from Disney Channel's hit Lizzie McGuire.

The McGuire content received 51,534 hits that month, said Cox director of Web strategy Patti Marciano.

"More than half of the traffic to that promotion area went to Lizzie," she said.

Marciano said Cox chose the corporate site because it was a national promotion, thus cox.com was the easiest URL for consumers to remember. Visitors were then pushed to local Cox sites, where potential subscribers could sign up for high-speed Internet access.

"Our goal was to see if people would come to our site," she said.

Disney and Cox staged a similar promotion in August, using a "Shopping Adventure" game based on the animated series Kim Possible. The average visitor played the Kim Possible game for 11 minutes; some 1,700 returned to play it more than once. In both cases Cox hosted the application on its Web site.

The Kim Possible
promotion was designed to create awareness, rather than drive huge numbers of modem sign-ups, Marciano said. But Cox is pushing customers to sign up for new services online — including high-speed data —to cut down on queries to call centers.

"We're trying to drive as many calls from our call centers to the Web," she said.

In both cases, cross-channel tune-in spots were used to promote the TV show on air and to send consumers to the Cox Web site.

The four 2003 promotions will feature various ABC Cable networks and shows, Cheng said.

"We're opening this up to the entire cable community to use," he said.

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