DirecTV Launches Ad Campaign for DSL Services

DirecTV is hoping that users feel the joy … over DSL.

On the heels of its July ad campaign for DirecTV, Hughes Electronics is launching a new advertising push for its DSL services, in the form of its DirecTV Broadband unit.

The campaign for Cupertino, Calif.-based DirecTV Broadband — known as Telocity prior to its April acquisition by Hughes — aims to increase consumer awareness for the company’s DSL offering by promoting the speed, ease of installation, and overall usefulness of broadband access.

As with the earlier spots for DirecTV’s satellite service, the commercial — created by the Los Angeles office of Interpublic’s Deutsch, which handles the advertising for both DirectTV units — uses the “Feel the Joy” tagline.

In addition to national and local TV ads, similar executions will run on local radio in select markets. The campaign also includes direct mail and e-mail efforts.

“Consumer demand for DSL service is extremely high and our national marketing push comes just at the right time,” said Ned Hayes, who is president and chief executive of DirecTV Broadband. “We want people to know there is an answer to the frustrating world of a dial-up Internet connection; DirecTV DSL makes using the Internet an enjoyable experience.”

However, there’s more to the picture than simply moving in on lucrative turf. Far from it, actually — start-up DSL providers are facing hot competition (to put it very mildly) from the Baby Bells — hence the high-visibility failures of NorthPoint, Rhythms and Covad.

Additionally, DirecTV Broadband is aiming to not only brand itself in the face of large, deep-pocketed and well-known rivals, but to address issues lingering from its Telocity days — such as user complaints of difficulty in setting up the service.

Nevertheless, the company said the campaign should address both issues.

“While there has been consolidation within the DSL industry, DirecTV Broadband is a survivor in this industry that offers an outstanding product and top level customer service,” Hayes said.

Just in case the public doesn’t bite, the company is sweetening the deal — the ads also introduce a limited-time pricing discount — the first three months of service are $19.99 per month, rather than the usual $49.99 per month.

Another footnote to the advertising push is that Hughes, a unit of General Motors, currently is receiving buyout offers from News Corp. and EchoStar Communications. In promoting its own DSL services, the new advertising campaign could serve to marginally drive up the pricing for the unit, although News Corp. and EchoStar’s own concentrations lie in satellite connectivity, rather than terrestrial broadband.

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