Looking to become ingrained within the changing technological and consumer landscapes, Comcast's major rebranding initiative begins Feb. 12, when the cable giant affixes the Xfinity moniker to its entire product line and diverse platforms.
At that point, the nation's largest distributor will begin pushing out the names -- Xfinity TV, Xfinity Internet and Xfinity Voice -- to customers in 11 markets: Boston; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Portland Ore.; Seattle, Hartford, Conn.; Augusta, Ga.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and parts of the Bay Area and San Francisco
Led by New York ad agency Siegel & Gale (which developed the tru2way campaign) and San Francisco-based ad giant Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (which developed Comcast's "Comcastic" ad campaign), the campaign will unfold via TV spots that will air during the Olympics in the respective markets, as well as through cross-channel promotion on its own systems. Print and radio ads are also planned.
All told, the initial push is expected to last between six and eight weeks, according to Comcast officials.
Comcast executive vice president of operations Dave Watson declined to comment about the campaign's creative focus, but Comcast hinted as to what is to come, by launching the Xfinity.com Web site Feb, 3 with the tag line: "A new era of entertainment is about to begin."
"I think it's safe to say that Xfinity and the notion of more choice and more control, will be prominent," in the ad campaign, Watson said in an interview.
David Becker, president of San Francisco advertising and rebranding agency Philippe Becker and a Comcast customer, said that operator's rebranding efforts make sense as technology has changed.
"When it comes to new media, particularly around launching new products, do you really want that association of what is essentially in most people's mind an old cable company?" Becker asked. "Do you really want that association with stuff that is streaming on your iPod. To me it makes sense to explore a new brand, because it's a new offering. It's probably easier to start from scratch given that they don't have a lot of loyalty and emotional equity in their old brand that needs to be preserved."
The change is reminiscent of the move that Cablevision Systems made several years ago, when it renamed all of its services under the Optimum brand, a gambit that proved highly successful.
Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable, which split off from its parent Time Warner Inc. last March, is also said to be investigating a name change.
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