Scratch and Win, en Español

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They may or may not be as valuable as their lottery equivalents, but every History Channel en Español scratch card houses a winner.

In what officials believe is the first industry incentive program of its kind, History Channel en Español is arming affiliates' customer-service representatives with scratch cards offering prizes in three ranges — from iPods at the top to umbrellas at level three — for each Latino programming package they sell to subscribers.

Jennifer Ball, the network's vice president of affiliate marketing, said the scratch-card campaign kicked off with Comcast in its home market of Philadelphia last month. Comcast's Northern Division signed up last week for a campaign that will bridge the late January to early February span, said Ball, adding that History Channel en Español at press time was moving toward signing up other affiliates for participation in 2007.

Ball believes the promotion should hold acquisition appeal for several reasons.

“We supply the products to the call center, so it's easy for the CSRs to pick up their prizes. It's instant gratification that way,” said Ball. “And since they can keep up on winning, the [selling effort] stays top of the mind. There's an incentive to keep selling.”

While the iPod is the sole gold medal prize, the silver level includes five options, including a unique “La Virgencita” watch from Mexico and Latino Music CD, while bronze winners have four choices, notably an Eva Peron mirror and a maravillas modernas tape measure.

Unlike at the local carnival or country fair, the representatives are not allowed to pool their winnings together and trade up to the next level of prizing.

The network not only will provide each participating call center with the premiums and scratch cards, but posters showcasing the items and one-sheets outlining the campaign and History Channel en Español programming.

History Channel en Español also is outfitting affiliates with a network image spot that can be tagged by the cable operators. With TV serving as the primary campaign driver, Ball said the service is asking affiliates to run the spot 200 to 300 times over the course of a two-week promotional period.

“This is the next phase of an aggressive promotion push that affiliates will find we are putting behind History Channel en Español,” said Ball, citing another acquisition program the network had worked with affiliates this past fall in which customers that signed up for a suite of Spanish-language services received People en Español free for six months.

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