Roku's New TV Marketing Pushes Easy Streaming

Streaming-first distributor Roku promotes an easy approach to streaming with a new TV and media campaign.

But I’m missing all the possible easy stuff.

Its theme line -- “OK, Roku does that” -- shows plenty of examples of how improvements made people’s jobs easier -- like storming a castle in medieval times.

That’s because building a human tower to scale a major castle wall can be time-consuming -- and a little difficult on the shoulders. But when one organizer sees another leader and his troops with an early form of a roughly constructed ladder, he sees the light.

“OK,” he remarks, nodding with obvious approval.

An early-20th-century owner of an automobile -- say, 1910 -- can be found trying to scrub away water during a rainstorm from his windshield. He then sees another car with an early, simple windshield-wiper operation, and has the same response. “OK.”



Easy fixes for existing problems. For many of Roku’s 55 million+ active monthly users, they are adept at Roku’s fairly easy-to-navigate onscreen app navigation/discovery dashboard.

Also, there is Roku’s minimal-button, easy-to-use remote control. And that’s the last image we are see on the TV ad.

The remote control’s key “OK” button sits in the middle of the device -- a good design. The “R” and then the “u” then appear around that “ok” button, leaving us with the ‘Roku’ logo.

The key question is how does Roku solves long-term streaming issues on the order of, say, creating the wheel, or cardboard coffee holder, or paper clip. We don’t get a complete picture; but we get a hint. The remote, of course.

Admittedly, lots of TV advertising for related streaming services seem a bit too far reaching -- showing up tiles and tiles of programs/movies/networks/apps they carry. Consumers can still be undecided: “OK, they got a lot of stuff! What else?”

For Roku, it would be good to see the before-and-after stories: Maybe the before of a potential frustrated streamer playing with a ball of wires, set-top boxes, and remotes unable to get his streaming evening viewing underway.

Still, Roku’s marketing direction is headed in the right direction. “OK” is good. But, long-term, like the message from a recent TV commercial from AT&T, you want a bit more than just OK.

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