Paragon Cable San Antonio
Most cable systems had reached the point of market penetration (70% and higher) where signing up new subscribers became difficult and costly. Since Hispanic cable penetrations generally ran anywhere from 10% to 25% below non-Hispanic subscription levels, many systems had come to recognize this market as an area of considerable opportunity. In some franchise areas, in fact, in order to grow, the majority of the new subscriptions had to come from Hispanic residents and/or other low-penetrated market segments.
Another interesting aspect of this campaign was that spots were created in both languages, airing on local Spanish and English-language TV stations in the market. The San Antonio DMA is over 50% Hispanic. The goal of this marketing effort was to cover the entire market, reaching non-Hispanics as well as Hispanicsbe it in Spanish or in English.
Although this meant that not all of the new subscribers could be categorized as "Hispanics," based on the cable systems analysis (of neighborhoods where the new "sign-ups" came from, of surnames and of the number of phone calls handled in Spanish), the majority of these new subscribers was, indeed, Hispanics.
There were few added offerings (or, at least, few worthwhile offerings) over and above what one could currently watch on "over-the-air" channels. Having never subscribed to cable, many Hispanics had limited knowledge of what programming services the local system carried.
It was perceived as a luxury. A cable subscription was expensive. As mentioned, many had no firsthand cable subscription experience. It was not unusual for these Hispanics to estimate a subscription in the $30 or higher range.
In spite of these misconceptions, one enduring fact stood out Hispanics love television. As documented by Nielsen ratings, Hispanic households spend significantly more time using television each day. And, with larger households (and as supported by a number of other research sources), they spend disproportionate dollars on entertainment. In addition, Hispanics are attuned to learning about new, family-oriented entertainment vehicles. One of the enduring objectives had to be to change their negative perceptions, in a nice, friendly way.
Based on this information, Cartel Creativo created an acquisition campaign for Paragon Cable of San Antonio. It was decided to kick off this campaign in July, historically a slow cable acquisition period.
A new cable client is not "tallied" until after service has been installed in the customer's place of residence.
PARAGON CABLE AD BRIEF
Non-subscribers fall into two general categories: former subscribers (including many who sign-up and cancel periodically) and non-subscribers who have never had cable. This latter segment dominated in these identified neighborhoods/areas, and was the segment specifically targeted for this advertising effort. For Paragon Cablein terms of expanding their customer basethis segment represented a significant opportunity for growth.
First-time subscription is a big step for the consumer. Pushing someone to take that step required a compelling, informative and logical approach. There was "inertia" to overcome, and in a sense, a form of complacency. On the other hand, the experience of the system and the agency suggested that, although these prospects may kick, scream, scratch and bite before subscribing, once "converted", once exposed to the variety of programming services (and the inherent value), they would just as passionately maintain that subscription.
The benefits advertising had to communicate?
The goal was to communicate that:
The aim was to drive the consumer to consider Paragon Cable, to come to the realization that, the combination of programming offerings and low price (value) represented something very special ....something they had been missing out on. The existing mindset ("I can watch my favorite programs just fine with my antenna; and besides, cable is too expensive") needed to be attacked. This issue of inertia/complacency was key. The communication needed to be compelling enough to get them to act.
Commercials built their foundation around three basic themes:
The first spots (airing in July) especially emphasized the $12 introductory rate.
Interestingly, the campaign from the prior July featured a premium package offer (while this new one featured the basic package), yet the number and proportion signing up for premium service in this new campaign exceeded the year-ago numbers.
Results for the August campaign were similarly successful. The goal of 3,500 new subscribers was exceeded by +203%. It represented a +405% increased compared to the prior August and, again the number opting for premium service far exceeded the prior August total.
Paragon was extremely happy with these results. To quote Paragons marketing director at the time:
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