FCB Jolts Consumers With ZDTV

SAN FRANCISCO-ZDTV is celebrating its one-year anniversary with the launch of a $5-8 million multimedia branding campaign from Foote, Cone & Belding.
The effort, FCB’s first for the 24-hour cable channel, includes print, outdoor, radio and TV executions. The tagline is, “Television about computers and the Internet.” The campaign launched in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas last week, and will soon roll out to additional markets.
The San Francisco client, a unit of Ziff-Davis, launched last May, and offers all original programming about technology-related subjects ranging from the Internet to e-commerce.
“Our challenge is to show a broad cross section of consumers that ZDTV is interesting, entertaining and relevant,” said Kevin Jenkins, senior vice president and management supervisor at FCB, San Francisco. “It’s not two guys in lab coats showing you how to install a hard drive.”
“We started from the premise that viewers would be drawn to the channel as much by how we present information as what that information is,” said Mike Mason, the client’s vice president of sales and marketing. “ZDTV is television that gives technology a personality.”
One of three humorous 30-second TV spots shows an elderly couple sitting on a couch in a small room with tacky flea market decor. As they watch ZDTV, the room bumps and shakes, as if hit by a mild earthquake.
After one bad jolt, the woman says to her husband, “Maybe you should get up there and steer?” The man, glued to the TV, replies, “Why don’t we wait until a commercial?”
It then becomes apparent that they are sitting inside an RV that’s barreling down a desert highway without a driver. The voiceover delivers the tag and says, “Now that’s something worth watching.”
Outdoor and transit executions use ZDTV’s black, white and red colors. One reads, “Dot coms, not sitcoms.” ƒ