Will NABs Digital TV tour bring awareness?

Later this year NAB will launch a campaign to educate viewers about the transition to digital TV. This is reported by Broadcast Engineering among others. With less than two yeas to go and no converterboxes in stores it is a tuff challenge to educate people about a transition that hardly no one is aware about. I think it will take some really smart moves to get peoples attention in this context. Here is what I think:

1. Plan a massive local media awareness that focuses the local meetings on the tour. People will learn more via local media reports than in any other way.

2. Come up with something that attracts both local media and the local audience to show up and take part. Anything from local TV-stars to BIG local News. The transition seames to be a national event and it is. But for the audience its a hyper local event. And keep it that way. But support it with national news. This will drive the local interest, awareness and knowledge about the transition.

3. Let people see the difference between analog TV and digital. Bring boxes and let people touch and feel. Let them try for themselves to connect a box to a TV-set, with or without a vcr, dvd or Tivo.

4. Hand out printed sheets with pictures and how-to guides to help people connect the boxes.

5. Try to let boxes out in stores in time for the tour!

6. Boost the marketing of all the local TV-stations that allready broadcast digital TV (see NABs list). If people can start using boxes and TV sets before the actual transition date it takes a lot of pressure from the actual transition on Feb 17 2009. And word will spread. Try to make one or a few areas to be pilots. This will create word of mouth and awareness.

7. Support everything that creates Word of Mouth about digital TV. Get people to talk about the transition. What it is. What is needed to be done, What will TV look like with digital reception. Who is affected. Who is NOT affected. Were to get more information. If people talk, even if it is a bit negative or questioning it still builds awareness.

And a last thing but not the least. Launch a positive brand that dont focus on the transition as a technical step but a increased service and experience for the consumer.

The transition is not rocket-science, it is a very practical step to get better TV.

Anders Bjers

PS If the US DTV-campaign colour is pink – NAB has been inspired of both Sweden and the U K. Both countries choose that colour as a base for their DTV campaigns. Not aware of each other but surprised. DS.

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