"Watch Shows. Not commercials." For Dish Network, this is now a constant marketing tagline displayed on TV-related business sites and on other media.
This of course refers to Dish's new Hopper set-top box, and its AutoHop function that can automatically erase the prime-time commercials of the four major networks while recording TV shows.
At the same time that Dish is increasing its marketing efforts, we are also hearing news about special addressable deals Dish has made -- one with Allstate (DirecTV also participated), and more recently with Warby Parker, an prescription eyeglass manufacturer (also with DirecTV).
Some would say the consumer marketing campaign and addressable advertising deals are competing efforts. Far from it. The message it sends to marketers is that they need to do better with media/campaign plans. In part, addressable advertising -- targeting homes, individuals that are more likely to buy products and services -- is a key media alternative. In theory, those who have, say Allstate as an insurance provider, won't be seeing these commercial messages.
What makes Dish's online AutoHop campaign more revealing is that is comes right before the start of the big TV season, just before the fourth quarter when important marketing efforts start up. Dish sees an opportunity for viewers who have been on summer hiatus.
What better way to get viewers than by telling them: "Hey, we can make things easier for your viewing. And you know what that means." The real business-marketing message? "Hey, marketers you can be like Allstate -- or you can be in the delete file. Your choice.”
It's a two-pronged attack with some overlap: Many of those marketing executives are also consumers who fast-forward through commercials.
Now, many senior media agency executives have been pushing addressable advertising efforts for some time, believing that this is the holy TV/media grail. So they are not going to turn away for the likes of Dish, or others addressable advertising efforts.
As it gets further along, with seemingly less outcry by marketers, we are left to wonder, who will join this process.
Maybe TV networks will do the same. Why not?
As the growth of digital viewing occurs, networks own up to their alternative TV plans, and tell viewers they can watch programs on the linear networks with commercials or on iTunes, Netflix, or other subscription video on-demand places without commercials.
Crazy? Five or ten years from now, it might just be reality.