Leinart, Shuler, 'The Boz' Mull College Return For Dish

This fall, plenty of people will be reliving their college days vicariously through their alma mater’s football teams. Count Matt Leinart, Heath Shuler and Brian Bosworth are among them.

In honor of the upcoming football season (and its expanded offerings, such as the SEC network, and live viewing via tablet from anywhere), Dish features the three college all-stars expressing their desire to relive their glory days.

“We wanted to blow out that Dish is the top provider of live college football anywhere,” James Moorhead, chief marketing officer of Dish, tells Marketing Daily. “This will be the main push for us [this fall] because we really are the only ones to offer live viewing anywhere in the country.”

In the first of a season-long series of television spots, Dish’s mascot, represented by an animated stuffed kangaroo (voiced by actress Rebel Wilson), and another man are watching a football game at a diner counter. As the kangaroo likens the experience to being back in college, two other diners (Matt Leinart and Heath Shuler) overhear. “I can go back to college?” Leinart asks, to which Shuler responds, “I’m in.” To end the commercial, Brian Bosworth appears and, upon hearing Leinart and Shuler are heading back to college, begs, “Take me with you.”

“These guys together — as well as separately — talking about going back to college is pretty engaging content,” Moorhead says.

Since introducing the kangaroo mascot in March, the company has seen a 35% increase in “ad performance score,” which measures a combination of attention, branding and motivation, over previous campaigns that featured a group of Boston-accented New Englanders, Moorhead says. The new effort has been a way for the satellite television company to advertise itself while showcasing its chief point of difference through its Hopper DVR service.

“Anytime you have a primary brand and a sub-brand such as Hopper, you need to drive a connection between the two,” Moorhead says. “As consumers are seeing the campaign, we need to be sure they are associating the Hopper with Dish.”

The college football campaign will run on sports-oriented networks and programming, and will also be promoted via social networks of both the company and the athletes featured in the commercials. (In addition to Leinart, Shuler and Bosworth, Jamarcus Russell is slated to appear in a later commercials, according to Moorhead.) On non-sports related programming, the company will continue to air previously created advertising featuring the animated kangaroo.

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