Bright House Takes a Circular Approach

Putting its array of products and services on display, Bright House Networks next month will insert a glossy circular within Sunday newspapers reaching consumers in its Tampa Bay division's service area.

The distribution of the 12-page circular — which will herald, among other services, its video-on-demand, digital video recorder and HDTV offerings in the Dec. 14 issue of a half-dozen area newspapers — will mark the first time Bright House's Tampa Bay unit has taken such a promotional tack.

"This is all part of the switch over to the Bright House name and that we bring these products and services into homes," said vice president of business affairs Linda Chambers. "We wanted to be able to depict how consumers use these products and services in a visually, unique way."

Parent Advance/Newhouse Communications effected the name change to Bright House last March and April, for systems that were handed over from Time Warner Cable in fall 2002.

Florida Spread

Chambers said Bright House has ordered a 700,000-print run, with the circular earmarked for the Tampa Tribune, Winter Haven News Chief, Lakeland Ledger, Citrus County Chronicle
and the Pasco edition of the St. Petersburg Times.

Bright House serves about 1 million subscribers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg DMA, comprising seven counties: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Polk, Citrus, Hernando and Pasco.

Developed by Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Robertson Marketing the circulars are part of a larger effort by Bright House that also involves direct mail, schedules on local broadcast stations, newspapers and promotions on cross-channel avails.

Chambers said the direct-mail piece would also cross the cornucopia of services the MSO offers, while the newspaper ads would push HDTV, DVRs, digital cable and high-speed Internet access, either individually or collectively.

Chambers said the Tampa division would evaluate the use and effectiveness of the circular on its own and in conjunction with the other media elements before making a call on whether to deploy such a component a second time.

"It might be something we use again, or develop in a different way," she said.

DVR Plugs

The circular showcases a variety of products. For example, the MSO's DVR service, available for $6.95 per month, is trumpeted as "TV on Your Terms." Meanwhile, the operator is billing its HDTV offerings under the copy, "See everything in a brighter light" and "Twice as bright."

There's also a panel promoting the company's bundle of digital cable and high-speed online service as "Entertainment at its Best."

Another page features a "Compare the Facts" list to satellite, emphasizing what Bright House can offer, including all local channels, local stations in HDTV, Movies on Demand and no expensive equipment. These and other elements are accompanied by a check mark under the Bright House column, while those positioned under a picture of a satellite dish listed the word "not" in red block letters.

In addition, the circular also trumpets Bright House's exclusive network offerings: news services Bay News 9 and Bay News 9 en Español, as well as its localized weather channel, Bay News 9 Weather Now.

Complementing the circular and media schedules, Bright House is also ramping up its retail educational efforts in the market. It recently disseminated a second Bright House Now
newsletter to store staffers at local electronics outlets, as well as workers at area Best Buy, Circuit City, Gateway, Sound Advice, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Staples and Bang & Olusfen locations.

The holiday 2003 edition aimed to enlighten retail workers about the MSO's HDTV, high-speed data, DVR and subscription VOD offerings.

Additionally, Chambers said Bright House has designed a static decal that can be affixed to TV screens in order to alert consumers in electronics outlets about the operator's HD capabilities.