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How to sell more Slingboxes through VOD and DRTV March 19, 2006


... TV viewers Biz Travelers, sports/info junkies, etc. -- with specific viewing ... Sports Enthusiasts. Information Junkies. Ex-pats. Mobile Moms. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: How to sell more Slingboxes through VOD and DRTV March 19, 2006

How to sell more Slingboxes through VOD and
DRTVMarch 19, 2006
Leading the revolution by empowering consumers.
  • Founded in 2004, Sling Media gave consumers
    greater control of when, how, and where they view
    television content, through the launch of
  • The Slingbox quickly became an award winning new
    technology, recognized by Time, Business Week,
    FORTUNE, PC World, and other publications and
  • Just last week the Wall Street Journal confirmed
    the revolution, calling the Slingbox a
    particularly disruptive technology.

Industry recognition wasmatched by sales success.
  • 2,500 retail outlets nationwide carry the
    Slingbox, including Wal-mart, Target, Best Buy,
    Dell, and Amazon.
  • Over 100,000 Slingboxes have been sold to date.
  • The company sells 100-200 units a week on its own

Marketing dollars havebeen astutely deployed.
  • Avoiding New York, Chicago, and LA, the company
    is focused on smaller markets that achieve cost
  • The company is progressively rolling out to 8-9
    markets per quarter.
  • Radio as the dominant medium, supported with
  • Print, awareness TV, and banner advertising.
  • The company currently targets five high-potential
  • Business Travelers.
  • Sports Junkies.
  • Information Junkies.
  • Ex-pats.
  • Mobile Moms.

The next phaseof marketing is critical.
  • The Slingbox is all about TV viewing theres an
    opportunity to deliver a deeper, richer
    experience with TV enthusiasts that communicates
    product benefits through their preferred medium.
  • The hero of this next marketing phase, to
    launch late 2Q/early Q3, is a 4-minute, local
    market test of a VOD piece, that is
  • Supported by a 30 Branded Navigation Unit, or
    BNU, that drives traffic to the VOD.
  • Also supported by a 30 spot lifted from the
    VOD, that employs an Ad Tag or Ad Copy that
    supports retailers, plus tailors and targets our
  • Complemented by a national, 60 direct response
    television test commercial (DRTV).

This is our proposal to help.
  • We have assembled a veteran team strategy,
    account management, copy, art, production, media
    planning buying, data analytics, and call
    center operations to work virtually with
    Sling Media.
  • The team is led by
  • Robert Solomon, founder of Solomon Strategic.
  • Kristi Faulkner and Sandy Sabean, co-founders of
    Words Pictures.
  • Karen Harris, a senior, independent media
  • The teams bios follow this presentation. We
    would be happy to answer any further questions
    you might have about our capabilities and

Heres what well cover
  • Weve already provide some background and
    context we now want to discuss
  • Our approach to creative.
  • Our initial thoughts on media planning.
  • A preliminary execution schedule.
  • A summary of costs.
  • Conclusion and next steps.

We started with three questions1. Does
television make sense?2. Is VOD the best way to
tell our story?3. Will DRTV sell?
The answers1. Yes!2. Yes!! 3. Yes!!!
1. Television is the ideal medium for a TV
  • Sling Media has done extraordinarily well without
    relying heavily on TV. However
  • The product appeals most to committed TV viewers
    Biz Travelers, sports/info junkies, etc. --
    with specific viewing interests that could
    benefit from the Slingbox.
  • This product cries out to be demonstrated live
    on TV.
  • To see it is to understand it, to understand it
    is to desire it.
  • Lastly, as we expand the adoption of innovation
    curve beyond innovators and early adopters,
    to the early majority,
  • Television is the one medium that can reach this
    group quickly and effectively.

2. VOD provides even deeper audience engagement.
  • A four-minute piece of content is ideal for
    communicating the Slingbox story and
    merchandising the product.
  • 25MM households are VOD enabled, with the number
    increasing rapidly. These are exactly the
    prospects we want to engage.
  • Everything gets measured unique views, total
    and average duration of viewing, and exact viewer
  • Because cable VOD is a local buy, it drives
    viewers to specific retailers, which should
    mitigate channel conflict.

The VOD piece is the anchor.
  • The VOD deeply engages our prime prospects.
    Creatively, it would be tightly integrated with
    the DRTV. We can achieve this by cutting the 60
    DRTV spots from the VOD itself.
  • Sling Media also has equity we can capitalize on
    and use in the video the awards theyve won,
    the people who endorse the product, and an
    easy-to-use website.
  • A few initial thoughts
  • A How do you Sling? story, focused on devoted
    Slingers who cant live without their Slingbox.
  • Explore a day in the life of a Slingbox, from
    purchase, to installation, to all the expected
    and unexpected real-life uses.
  • We will explore a variety of creative approaches
    based on various consumer insights, and present
    options for your consideration.
  • We also will plan for other VOD uses, in retail,
    in sales, on the web.

Two VOD issues to address.
  • VOD via cable is bought by specific local
    markets, not nationally. TiVo is a national buy,
    but the audience may be smaller, less
    concentrated, and could be more expensive. (We
    will do a full comparison and provide a POV.)
  • In our media section of the presentation, we will
    recommend two cable VOD test markets Boston and
  • Even with just local market presence, we believe
    VOD will be a powerful test vehicle that can roll
    out to other markets.
  • 2. The Drive-to-VOD component is critical.
    In cable, well use a separate 30 Branded
    Navigation Unit (BNU), that MSOs sell as part of
    the VOD package. (TiVo uses a gold star
    click-through. We can discuss how to build
    awareness on their platform.)
  • Our recommendation is to create the BNUs the same
    way we plan to create the 60 DRTV -- craft them
    from the 4-minute VOD.

3. DRTV is a powerful, efficient sales weapon.
  • There are five reasons why direct response
    television is the ideal platform to promote
  • The 60 units provide the time needed to tell a
    fuller sales story.
  • The strong call-to-action encourages consumers to
    seek more information via the web or phone.
  • Media time is incredibly affordable, extending
    the value of every dollar invested.
  • We ruthlessly measure everything, to know what
    works, and what doesnt.
  • We use buy management techniques to reduce cost,
    increase effectiveness, in order to achieve our
    sales goals.

Our objective a fully integrated campaign with
lots of options.
  • The entire creative package would be conceived as
    a whole. So the 60 DRTV spot fits seamlessly
    with the VOD and the 30 BNU.
  • The four-minute time frame gives us a wealth of
    creative options to consider
  • We could tailor 60 DRTV spots for each of the
    five key target segments.
  • We could focus on the why and how of the
    product, to stimulate enthusiasm.
  • We could possibly recruit a celebrity like Amhad
    Rashad as a spokesperson, or for a testimonial.
  • We will explore every option in creative

For the DRTV, whatshould the call-to-action be?
  • In a classic 60 DRTV spot, the call-to-action
    usually is to place an order.
  • But, while the Slingbox is a terrific deal, at
    249 its not an impulse purchase.
  • There also will be questions about
  • And there will be questions about a guarantee.
  • Assuming we could promote an unconditional
    guarantee, we could promote a call-to-order
    call-to-action. But it might be preferable to
    use a drive-to-web or call to inquire strategy.

Testing calls-to-action.
One option would be to test a range of
calls-to-action. Some options
  • Wed like to review these and other alternatives
    with you prior to creative development, to arrive
    at the best choice.

What about channel conflict?
  • Sling Media has done a superb job of
    significantly penetrating the major retailers.
    Although a DRTV spot could have an impact, we
    dont believe this is a risk.
  • For one thing, major manufacturers such as Nike
    and Apple sell their products through multiple
    channels, including proprietary direct marketing
  • Other marketers, such as Dell, have proven the
    efficacy of the Direct.
  • Sling Media already uses its own website to close
  • Our recommendation is to bring the retailers into
    the process, brief them fully, then manage issues
    as they arise.

Dynamic insertion couldhelp with channel
  • Dynamic insertion, in the form of AdTags and
    AdCopy, is something to consider in local markets
    where available.
  • An AdTag allows you to instantly tailor your
    message to a specific location. For example, New
    York residents in Chelsea are told to go the Best
    Buy on 23rd Street.
  • AdCopy allows you to instantly tailor the
    message, to deliver a specific offer or product
  • Again, working with the 4-minute VOD as our base,
    we could lift a 30 spot that uses an AdTag to
    promote specific retailers.
  • This could help reduce concern over the DRTV.
  • We also could use AdCopy to create a more robust
    test and learning environment, to see which
    offers or guarantees work.

A note about creating and producing for dynamic
  • Simply put, dynamic insertion means the spot is
    edited immediately before airtime by computer
  • At present, AdTag/AdCopy are services only
    available from the cable systems as part of a
    local market buy. For the test, our DRTV spots
    will be bought nationally for cost effectiveness,
    eliminating the AdTag/AdCopy option.
  • However, we will plan for the use of this
    technology, and will create and produce each
    piece of content with the specific requirements
    of AdTag/AdCopy in mind. Doing so will give us
    the option of cutting effective 30s later, and
    the ability to run our DRTV in select local
    markets with varying offers or store locations.
  • Planning ahead will save tremendously on
    production costs down the line.

To summarize, heres what well create
  • Multiple concepts for a four-minute VOD, (for use
    on TiVo or in local cable markets) leading to an
    execution and production of the selected concept.
  • Multiple concepts of a 30 BNU spot, designed to
    drive people to the VOD, leading to the execution
    and production of a single 30 BNU.
  • Multiple concepts for 60 DRTV spots to run on a
    selection of national cable networks, leading to
    either the execution and production of a single
    spot, or possibly a number of test spots.
  • A 30 lift of any of the above executions
    designed to leverage AdTag/AdCopy down the road.

VOD the ultimate, opt-in advertising vehicle.
  • The VOD audience is self-selecting they choose
    to watch because they are interested in a product
    and want to learn more.
  • Its a great complement to awareness advertising
    and to DRTV.
  • It successfully establishes a direct and lengthy
    dialogue with an interested consumer.
  • There is no waste, but there is a cost premium.
  • VOD is most successful at engaging the audience
    and holding their attention when the information
    presented is relevant and entertaining.
  • The creative challenge is to strike a balance
    with the brand message.

How to negotiate VOD.
  • For now, well assume youve explored a VOD buy
    with TiVo, so well focus on the details of cable
  • VOD is a local cable buy, usually bought through
    the Spotcable rep, NCC. It is sold
    market-by-market, which makes negotiating with a
    single rep more efficient.
  • The cost of the platform depends on a combination
  • Server time where the content is housed.
  • The amount of BNUs (30 directionals that promote
    the content to the viewing audience).
  • Other spots purchased in the plan.
  • There are creative sponsorship opportunities that
    drive VOD viewership these could complement the
    media plan. We will explore and evaluate these
    during media planning.

Choosing a VOD test market.
Wed recommend the top one or two markets with
the greatest potential to reach our consumers.
Leaving out NY,LA, and CHI, the next two most
developed VOD DMAs are Philadelphia and Boston.
Philadelphia and Boston are excellent choices
  • Philadelphia
  • Is a highly developed VOD audience.
  • It has 850,000 digital cable HH, 1.3 million VOD
    enabled digital boxes.
  • It is a strong sports market.
  • Boston
  • Has 910,000 digital cable HH, 1.4 million VOD
    enabled digital boxes
  • Is a strong sports market, plus huge student
    populations (early adopters, TV enthusiasts, and
  • Theres a significant suburban influence (Mobile

A ballpark estimate for VOD.
  • This is meant as an FYI only this is not
    included in our media budget.
  • Were assuming that you have an estimate for
    TiVos VOD package. For comparison, this is
    where negotiations would begin for a cable VOD
  • Philadelphia
  • Server time for one month -- 38,000
  • 400 BNUs -- 80,000
  • Boston
  • Server time for one month -- 44,000
  • 400 BNUs -- 80,000

VOD how to proceed.
  • Youve indicated that TiVo has a compelling VOD
    package. Not knowing the details of what youve
    negotiated, we cant evaluate cables VOD vs.
  • However, our proposal does include developing a
    strategy, plus creating and producing the VOD
    content, regardless of where you choose to run
  • We can help you evaluate all the options in
    further detail at a later time.

DRTV a different way to buy.
  • Sling Media has had success in running awareness
    media, primarily radio, that delivers about 70
    GRPs a week.
  • DRTV is different. Our goal isnt to buy reach
    and frequency. Our goal is to buy TV time
    cheaply, so that it can deliver an acceptable
    cost-per-call, cost-per-lead, and, ultimately,
  • To do this we buy unsold, available, remainder
    time, or avails, that can be pre-empted by
    another advertiser willing to pay a higher price
    for the spot.
  • This allows us to buy time cheaply. Instead of
    paying tens of thousands, or even hundreds of
    thousands of dollars per spot, we pay just
    hundreds of dollars, or at most a thousand or two
    per spot.

DRTV comes withits own set of rules.
  • For one thing, were not going to run on Lost,
    or Desperate Housewives. In fact, we cannot
    specify programming. Instead we must specify
    broad dayparts.
  • Our units tend to be 60s, 90s, and 120s, not
    the 30s that typify awareness advertising. A
    60 is the most common and clearable unit.
  • Our spots must sell with a strong call-to-action
    that directs the viewer to call an 800-number or
    visit a website.
  • DRTV offers Sling Media a number of advantages,
    including sufficient time to tell a fuller sales
    story. Most important of all, it allows Sling
    Media to maximize the value of its media
  • This is why we believe DRTV provides a great
    solution for the Slingbox.

How to proceed DRTV.
  • Assuming we were to work together, our plan is to
    present a detailed media recommendation for your
  • In the meantime, were envisioning a DRTV test
    effort that
  • Would run for 3-4 weeks.
  • Would focus on national cable networks, which
    efficiently delivers a lower cost per response
    than local market independents and affiliate
  • National cable also allows us to target our five
    key segments
  • Business Travelers.
  • Sports Enthusiasts.
  • Information Junkies.
  • Ex-pats.
  • Mobile Moms.

We started witha list of 19 DRTV networks.
  • AE
  • BBC America
  • Bravo
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • CNN Headline news
  • Comedy Central
  • E!
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • ESPN Classic
  • Fox News
  • Lifetime
  • OLN
  • Oxygen
  • Spike TV
  • VH1
  • WE

We evaluated each network according to these
  • We want a mix of stations that appeal to all five
  • Were looking for target audience concentration.
  • We want good DRTV rates, and the opportunity to
    achieve buying efficiency.
  • We pay attention to historical rates for similar
    consumer electronics, high tech, and similar
  • Based on this analysis, we narrowed the list of
    preliminary group of networks most likely to
    deliver sales for the Slingbox.

These are the 10 networks that made our tentative
But this still represents an interim, for
discussion list.
  • In our final media recommendation, we will narrow
    the list further to four or five high potential
  • Based on our discussions with the networks, we
    might find that some drop out, while others find
    their way in.
  • In some cases, networks that dont make the
    initial round are likely to be included in
    subsequent rounds of testing.

DRTV buy management.
  • With DRTV, buy management is a big advantage.
  • We will start by airing the approved buying
    schedule, exactly as planned.
  • But, after two weeks of being on air, response
    rates tend to level off or decline.
  • We can use the data from weeks one and two to
    adjust our buy in weeks three (and four, assuming
    four weeks).
  • We can cancel underperforming networks.
  • We can add new networks to the test.
  • We can change dayparts to maximize results.
  • We can increase or decrease frequency to improve
  • We can renegotiate rates to improve performance.

Buying would be handledby a firm we know well.
  • We recommend working with Direct Advantage, whose
    founding partners Jane Plant and Gina Buttafoco
    we know well.
  • Jane and Gina are industry veterans with
    significant agency and client side experience.
  • The firm was founded in 1993, and works with a
    wide range of clients in a variety of business
  • The company is particularly strong in DRTV
  • Direct Advantage also has the necessary analytic
    tools to successfully measure, evaluate, and buy
    manage our campaign.

Handling the call volume.
  • DRTV can succeed in the most unexpected ways.
    For example,
  • Spots airing during morning news might fail,
    while spots airing over night might succeed.
  • Some spots might cause a sudden spike in calls.
  • Although our goal would be to drive traffic to
    our website, we still want to offer people the
    option to call an 800-number to order, or to get
    questions answered.
  • To handle calls 24/7, and to cover unanticipated
    spikes in call volume, well need to contract
    with a in-bound call center that specializes in
    handling DRTV response.

Identifying the right call center candidates.
  • We know a number of qualified candidates that
    could handle the in-bound call volume and email
    orders to your fulfillment house. Possibilities
  • ACI Telecentrics in Minneapolis.
  • Greenwood Hall in Santa Ana, California.
  • Convergys in Cincinnati.
  • West Telemarketing in Omaha.
  • Assuming we proceed, we would put the assignment
    out to bid, based on the media recommendation,
    and according to the specifications we establish
  • We would award the bid based on agreed-on
    criteria, then do training and testing well
    before launch.

Big questionwhat if we dont succeed?
  • If we dont pull the results we expect, we can
    cancel the media plan with 72 hours notice,
    preserving a substantial portion of your
  • But given how we plan to structure the test, and
    given the a history of product success, we dont
    anticipate needing to do this.
  • The fact is, we expect to succeed, and it is more
    likely youll want to ramp up the plan.
  • We can do this, usually within 72 hours of
    arriving at the decision to invest more.

We can launch in late in 2Q.
A note on the VOD air date.
  • The MSOs require 30 days from submission to
    launch the program into its rotation.
  • We will try to improve on this by working with
    the MSO, but for now, we should assume the
    national DRTV launch will air as scheduled, with
    the VOD following in the two test markets.

DRTV VOD an ideal test environment
  • To interested ad involved prospects, VOD gives us
    the real estate we need to tell the full
    Slingbox story.
  • We buy VOD locally, but with the option to expand
    to other markets as success dictates.
  • A DRTV 60 can be bought cheaply, with
    buy-management techniques leveraged to optimize
    the plan to achieve our goals.
  • DRTV is a national cable buy, giving us broad
    reach to a wide audience.

Theres a big opportunity for success.
  • We believe in buyers marketing, where
    empowered consumers feel confident and
    knowledgeable enough to make informed decisions
    that improve their lives.
  • Slingbox is a product that does exactly what it
    says it will do. The product is priced fairly,
    and in a way that makes evaluation simple and
    buying easy.
  • But this next phase of marketing is key to
    expanding Sling Medias share of market. As
    important as results are, its equally important
    that we learn what works, then build on it to
    ensure future success.
  • The team weve put together has the creativity,
    experience, and tech market savvy to help make
    this happen, and were eager to partner with you.

How do we proceed?
  • Wed schedule a kick-off teleconference, to get
    fully up-to-speed on the product and to address
    open issues.
  • We would then write a creative brief that would
    drive creative development.
  • We would begin developing our media plan.
  • And we would contact call center candidates to
    submit proposals to us.

A FNAL WORD THANK YOUFor asking us to
propose on your business. We look forward to
working with you!
Robert Solomon Solomon Strategic
  • Robert has 29 years of DM experience, most
    recently as CEO of Rapp Collins, NY.
  • Before founding S2, he was President of Direct
    Interactive at Ammirati Puris Lintas, GM of FCB
    Direct West, SVP at Digitas.
  • He has serious technology experience on accounts
    such as Compaq Computer, DEC, Novell, and ATT
  • His other major accounts include American
    Express, Cablevision, Citibank, DHL, MasterCard,
    and UPS.

Roberts is a well- known author whose books are
big sellers among ad agencies.
Kristi Faulkner Words Pictures
  • Kristi is a seasoned creative with 16 years
    experience writing and producing all forms of
    advertising from TV, print radio to emerging
  • Before founding founding Words Pictures, she
    was a creative director on a variety global
    accounts at Ammirati Puris Lintas, YR, and Grey
    Advertising. Shes also done time at BBDO, DDB
    Needham and Hill, Holiday.
  • Her technology experience includes the launch of
    Optimum Online, Compaq Computers, Capital
    Thinking, GTE, ATT, Toshiba, and Cablevision.
  • Words Pictures is considered by many to be a
    leading branded content creator in the VOD space.
    Their first foray garnered a Jack Meyers Media
    Creativity award.

Sandy Sabean Words Pictures
  • After graduating from New Yorks School of Visual
    Arts, Sandy began her career at the legendary
    creative agency Doyle Dane Bernbach.
  • Shes served as a creative director on a variety
    global accounts at Ammirati Puris Lintas, YR,
    and Grey Advertising. Previously, she worked at
    Saatchi Saatchi, and Wells Rich Green.
  • Shes created campaigns for blue-chip brands in
    virtually every category from finance to tech to
    beauty to packaged goods to automotive.
  • Her technology experience includes the launch of
    Optimum Online, IBM, Compaq Computers, Capital
    Thinking, and Cablevision.

Karen Harris, Karen Harris Media Consulting
  • Karen has over 20 years of direct marketing media
    planning, buying and management experience.
  • Before founding her media consulting practice,
    Karen spent 13 years as Executive Vice President
    and media Director of Grey Direct.
  • Prior to Grey, Karen spent 8 years at another
    well respected direct marketer, Wunderman
  • Karens high tech ad consumer electronic
    experience includes Apple, IBM, and Panasonic,
    among other accounts.

How to sell more Slingboxes through VOD and
DRTVMarch 19, 2006
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