Ads Ask: 'Where Do You Vongo?’

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With a new ad campaign, Starz Entertainment Group is not only interested in building brand awareness for its new subscription Internet movie service, but introducing consumers to a new verb.

“Where Do You Vongo?” is the new tagline for SEG’s Vongo broadband service, which launched in January and proffers more than 1,000 movies within Starz’s premium service library, as well as current pay-per-view films.

These titles and other video content are downloaded and then can be played back on Windows-based PCs, laptops, TVs and select portable media devices. Subscriptions cost $9.99 per month, while PPV films are available for $3.99 apiece.

“We want to build awareness and get consumers to start using Vongo as the term for the act of video downloading,” said Joseph Cantwell, vice president of marketing, advanced services, at SEG.

The question is being posed on TV spots that began running on late-night broadcast shows on CBS, NBC and ABC last Thursday.

A cable schedule, which already includes primetime and late-night insertions on Comedy Central, A&E Network, Turner Network Television and ESPN, was still being finalized at press time. It will kick off on Feb. 11-12, when the broadcast slate concludes, and run for about a month.

The humorous TV ads, from New York-shop Link & McCambley, aim to spark curiosity and drive people to the service’s Web site. They feature Mr. Insubordinate and Mr. Irreverent, described as quirky characters who are engaged in disruptive activities in a parking garage and in a church at a funeral. The online ad (at www.vongo.com) features Ms. Inappropriate, a psychotherapist. At the Web site, users will discover the reveal: their bad behavior results from “vongoing.”

“We’ve been working on this since last May. I decided that it was just about impossible to talk about the service, the downloading, the kinds of devices it works on in a 30-second spot, so we want to direct people to vongo.com so they can get the information they need.”

An e-mail campaign, directed by the business services unit of credit report giant Experian, is aimed at U.S. households that have had broadband for two years or more. On the traditional mail side, some homes will receive a pitch letter, accompanied by a free trial offer. Others will receive a CD-ROM containing the software needed to download the content.

All told, Cantwell said SEG is allocating between $3 million and $4 million for the launch phase of the Vongo campaign.

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