Mostly Ad-Free Medium Breaks Massive Ad Campaign

A new nationwide medium that accepts little advertising - satellite radio - is breaking a massive ad campaign in a medium that does - network TV - to convince consumers to subscribe. If the campaign is successful, it will accelerate the shift from time spent with ad-supported media to time spent with non-ad supported media.

XM Satellite Radio, which along with Sirius control the burgeoning satellite radio marketplace, last week broke the campaign with a blitz on the season premieres of such top-rated network shows as "Friends," "Law & Order" and "CSI," as well as cable outlets including CNBC, CNN, Discovery, ESPN, Fox News Channel, MTV and The Weather Channel.

The media strategy was developed by Carat North America, which negotiated the buy. While the campaign budget was not disclosed, XM spent $100 million to launch the service in 2001.

Creative is handled by Interpublic's Mullen unit and features a spot showing a driver locked in a traffic jam, listening to an XM SkyFi radio. It then shows how portable it is when the driver removes the unit and inserts it into a boombox. A voiceover says, "XM Satellite Radio. One hundred digital channels you'll never want to be without."



XM Satellite Radio is the larger of the two companies providing the service, with nearly 1 million subscribers. It's pushing a "1 millionth subscriber" campaign, which supports the TV spot along with contests, programs broadcast only XM and a cross-country tour.

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