NBC Cable's 'Mas' Media Blitz

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As cable operators expand their offerings to Latinos, NBC will step in later this month with a new branding program aimed at helping MSOs attract and keep such customers.

Telemundo and mun2Television are the prime conduits of "Mas," a series of campaigns developed by NBC Cable Networks. Starting in two weeks, Mas will blend promos, programming segments and online materials with three goals in mind: increasing cable penetration among Latinos, retaining current Hispanic customers and generating group adoption of advanced cable services, beginning with high-speed Internet access.

The NBC unit will spend about $1 million on the campaign's first wave.

In particular, Mas is directed at the estimated 28% of Latino households who don't take cable or direct-broadcast satellite, said Lynette Pinto, NBC Cable's marketing vice president.

"Cable awareness [among this group] is nonexistent. They need to be educated about cable and all of its services," she said.

As that audience is addressed, the campaign will reposition cable in the minds of all Latinos by building awareness of such benefits as channel options, picture quality, digital cable, HDTV and interactive services, according to NBC Cable senior vice president of marketing Mark Hotz.

"If cable doesn't succeed in reaching the Hispanic marketplace, we lose," he said. "DBS beat cable to the punch by spectrum for new services and then marketing them. Digital-cable tiers are an offer that's clicking, but there isn't any clear, national cable marketing strategy to reach Hispanics. We're trying to provide one in partnership with operators."

In some ways, the initial salvo is not unlike the Council for Cable Information, the operator-funded 1980s initiative to build audiences for programming, which used the tagline, "Cable: more choice, your choice." NBC's campaign catchphrase is: "Quiero Mas. Quiero Cable," or "I want more. I want cable."

A set of three messages will appear in Spanish on Telemundo and English on mun2 throughout the week of Sept. 22. One message, with a family at the dinner table, describes the variety of cable programming services. A second covers movies on cable as a great value against a night at the movies, while the third looks at high-speed Internet service.

All three spots, created by Miami-based agency Blanco & Lorenz, will begin with identification as a Telemundo or mun2 mensaje (message). Telemundo will play the spots at least 25 times during the week — five times in primetime, with various Telemundo broadcast affiliates also running the spots.

Ads will appear at least 100 times on mun2, half slotted for primetime hours. Material linked to the spots will be posted on Telemundo and mun2's respective Web sites. Newspaper ads and door hangers are also available to operators.

De Mananita, Telemundo's two-hour morning news show, will feature interviews with Spanish-speaking cable industry representatives about programming and service choices, while features are being prepared for the evening newscasts of local Telemundo stations.

Cable also will be the topic for mun2's primetime technology news briefs, with updates on VOD, digital, HDTV and Internet access likely.

NBC Cable will confer with MSO officials before proceeding with another round in the "Mas" efforts. Some ideas under study include VOD, digital and HDTV elements, the creation of an advisory board of local cable systems and local cable/broadcast station partnerships.

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