For Dish Net, Romann Sees Cable as ‘Piggish’

NEW YORK The Romann Group has launched a new campaign for EchoStar Communications’ Dish Network that positions the digital subscription service as the antidote to “piggish” cable companies. “Stop feeding the pig” is the theme of the effort.

The campaign features a 60-second TV spot that depicts a pig running roughshod through a suburban home, amid cries from a mom and her two children. Wearing a blanket labeled “cable company,” the pig eats from a family dog’s bowl, smashes into the son’s piggy bank and nabs a $20 bill from the mom’s pocketbook. The action is framed by a voiceover that says, “In the past five years, cable companies have raised their rates by over 40 percent. Obsessive? We think it’s piggish.” After the mom exclaims, “It took my jewelry!,” the dad, holding a lacrosse stick as a weapon, says, “All right. That’s it. Get the kids. We’re switching to Dish Network.”

A voiceover spells out an offer of 50 channels for less than $25 a month and free installation, with a nudge to call an 800 number. The spot, which broke on Tuesday and was directed by Mark Tiedemann, ends with the mom and two kids straining to hold the door closed on the pig while dad dials the Dish Network.

“The idea was to establish EchoStar as the friend of the consumer,” said Gad Romann, creative director at the New York shop, adding, “Everyone always has a mascot for themselves. No one has ever created a mascot for the competition.”

The art director was Scott Szul, Val Klump and Emily Witt were the copywriters, and Sherri Hollander was the producer.

The campaign also includes radio, newspaper and outdoor ads, direct mail pieces and a Web site (stopfeedingthepig.com). The agency also has presented creative concepts for additional TV spots, Romann said. Spending was not disclosed but the integrated effort will continue throughout 2004, according to Romann.

In the first nine months of 2003, the Littleton, Colo.-based EchoStar spent more than $65 million in measured media on Dish, the bulk of which (about $40 million) covered broadcast efforts, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.