U.S. Satellite Broadcasting hopes that a new branding
campaign will help subscribers to think of USSB's movie channels as their destination
of choice when they first turn on their televisions.
The company announced early this month that it has launched
"The USSB Movie Zone" on channels 900 to 999 on the Digital Satellite System
platform, which it shares with DirecTv Inc.
USSB was looking for a better way to identify and
differentiate itself, according to Jan Schuth, the company's vice president of
USSB will support the new branding campaign with a
movie-themed sweepstakes set to run through mid-January. The grand prize is a BMW 7 series
car reminiscent of the one that James Bond drove in the movie Tomorrow Never Dies,
which is scheduled to air on Showtime. The grand-prize winner will also receive a VIP trip
to a post-Emmy Awards party sponsored by Home Box Office.
Each USSB subscriber -- including new DSS customers who
sign up for one month of free programming -- will receive an automatic entry into the
sweepstakes for each week that they remain a subscriber. Schuth said the aim is to
motivate new customers to stay on after their free month is over.
And to encourage viewers to tune in to The USSB Movie Zone
on a regular basis, the company will post the names of the winners on-air each week.
"Our goal is to get them in the habit" of
watching USSB's premium-movie channels and promotional feeds, Schuth said.
USSB will promote the sweepstakes with a two-page statement
inserted into monthly subscriber bills, as well as through on-air efforts.
The monthly statement will detail weekly prizes, which
include exotic trips -- one each week for the duration of the sweepstakes -- themed around
movies broadcast on USSB's premium networks. To celebrate Seven Years in Tibet,
for example, USSB will award a trip to the Far East.
Other destinations include Paris; New York; Los Angeles;
Vancouver, British Columbia; and the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
In addition to the car and the trips, USSB will award 25
smaller prizes each week, including sweatshirts with the Movie Zone logo and snacks and
soft drinks for watching movies.
"We want to tie everything back to our movies,"
Schuth added that she sees the sweepstakes more as a
subscriber-based retention program than as an acquisition tool.
USSB does not plan to promote the sweepstakes at
consumer-electronics retailers. New DSS customers, however, will get word of the promotion
through USSB welcome kits.