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Going Digital

The Problem: Communicating the details of the February 2009 digital transition to viewers most likely to be affected: older viewers with analog or basic-only cable television.

A Solution: Retirement Living Television has developed a transition kit for local systems, with low-jargon content designed to communicate to viewers aged 55 and older.

“Our audience is hyper-affected by this transition. A high number of them are over-the-air viewers,” said Retirement Living vice president of strategic development Patrick Baldwin. The channel’s parent company, Erickson Retirement Communities, has 25 years of experience speaking to this demo, he noted.

The transition kit includes a Research Connection Factbook, “everything you never knew about the 55-plus demographic,” according to channel executives, created by an eight-person in-house research staff, including gerontologists.

Tools in the kit are cross-channel spots, in which The Brady Bunch star Florence Henderson gives a brief explanation of the transition. Also provided: an audio version for play on local radio stations and a full-page newspaper ad. Public-service announcements are included, featuring Retirement Living’s John Palmer and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.

And, in case anyone is in danger of forgetting the timeline, the kit includes a countdown clock to Feb. 17, 2009.

The Result: Possibly more business from seniors, drawn to the provider who gave them the correct, timely information.