Ads Tout Cablevision's Quantity, Quality


Cablevision Systems Corp. has been busy lately, hammering away with separate marketing campaigns for its iO: Interactive Optimum digital-cable service and Optimum Online high-speed data platform.

For digital cable, the MSO's "TV is now iO" campaign relies upon an effective mix of nostalgia and a raft of entertainment and sports programming options to persuade consumers to commit.

At first, it appears that the barrage of quick-cut clips and network names is too much for anyone to grasp, but that may actually be a plus. Each time a viewer sees an iO spot, something different catches the eye. And the sheer quantity of content available is exactly what Cablevision wants to convey to prospects.

The best spot of this package is the 60-second "Anthem," in which a female voiceover says, "Television – it captivated us from the start. We came together around it … and at times were left speechless by it."

President John F. Kennedy and the first man on the moon are depicted, accompanied by words including the letters "iO" — such as innovation, pioneer and inspiration.

But what if we could "get even more," the narrator asks, segueing into iO's 200 channels, which offer 700 different titles. Boasting that iO — for just $9.95 more per month — is "bigger than television, better than satellite TV," the spot concludes, "It's why you'll never look at TV the same way again."

Separate 30-second spots emphasize on-demand programming and a raft of sports channels.

One quibble: the brand iO is meaningless to consumers, unlike, say, Time Warner Cable's "DTV," which is more easily deciphered as digital TV.

Meanwhile, enjoyable slice-of-life spots promote Optimum Online. The best is a 60-second spot, in which a young family gravitates to its kitchen PC. Mom tells viewers that service is "way faster than dial-up or DSL," and cites a free cable modem and no annual contract.

Red Tettemer Inc., Philadelphia, is the agency.

On the Spots is a periodic critique of MSO and cable-network marketing campaigns.