Adlink, which began as the first and largest digital
interconnect in the U.S. in August 1988, this week will begin a branding campaign to
position itself for the future addressable advertising era.
For the Los Angeles interconnect, its trade campaign --
themed "It's Targeted TV" -- and a new logo are meant to shift emphasis
from the selling side's single-invoice/single-tape focus to a unified look and
positioning on the marketing side, said Vicki Lins, Adlink's director of marketing.
The idea is to not just to celebrate 10 years as an
interconnect but to reposition for the next decade, Lins said. Citing basic cable's
audience gains in the past two years, she said, "[Cable] is almost on a level playing
field with broadcast now. We also needed to define the category of business we're
dealing in -- not just spot cable but addressable advertising being available through
The first ad will point out that Adlink is "as close
to direct marketing as the medium and the technology allow."
Adlink last year sold Kraft Foods on a spot-cable buy that
ultimately led to that client's long-term deal with Tele-Communications Inc. for what
will ultimately be addressable advertising, Lins said. She said the interconnect is
heading that way, although she and those involved in the Kraft/TCI deal pointed out that
truly one-to-one advertising isn't here yet.
As a first step, Adlink, in 1995, invested $10 million in
digital ad-insertion technology that led to Adtag, which allows clients to run the same
spot throughout the market, tagged with individual dealer or store names for 70 geographic
locations, as well as Adcopy, which allows clients to run different spots in different
parts of the DMA.
Adlink now encompasses eight equity partners with 72
headends and 24 insertable networks, reaching 3 million subscribers in Los Angeles. Ten
years ago, Adlink began with six MSOs, 11 headends and five insertable networks reaching
650,000 subscribers. Before 1988, the Adlink executives noted, advertisers had to cope
with dozens of cable operators, each with its own billing system.
Adlink's marketing tack isn't surprising, since
the interconnect has stressed marketing tie-ins as a way to bolster sales volume. And
Adlink plans to incorporate the new branding effort into its merchandising and promotions
as well, for instance, via T-shirts, mugs and mouse pads embellished with its new logo,
Hank Oster, senior vice president, sales and marketing,
pointed out that this brand-building strategy actually began two years ago when he hired
Lins (from AirTouch Cellular) to build Adlink's marketing department and increase
integrated marketing with clients.
"Marketing is a revenue-generating department"
with eight people in marketing, creative services and promotions, versus three people
before Lins arrived, he said.
The new logo was created by design firm Vigon/Ellis, Studio