Hub Strategy Unveils Slingbox TV Push

LOS ANGELES Independent Hub Strategy’s new television work for Slingbox breaks this week, according to D.J. O’Neil, the agency’s creative director and founder.

One spot is set in a dentist’s office. A young man is seen killing time in the chair, watching a murder mystery while he explains to the dentist that Slingbox’s technology allows him to enjoy TV via the Internet on his laptop and other digital devices. “What a mess! Look at all that blood!” the dentist cackles, reacting to the show. Another patient, overhearing the conversation from behind a divider, flees in terror.

There is no tagline, though the phrase “Watch your TV anywhere” appears in some ads. Spending is likely in the low-seven-figure range.

O’Neil, who also directed the spot, has been working with the San Mateo, Calif.-based client, Sling Media, since the flagship product’s launch two years ago. Since then, the San Francisco agency has executed numerous efforts, including package and Web-site design, online banners and radio ads.

O’Neil said the agency’s integrated approach gives the work a consistent look and tone, especially in its use of humor. “The challenge of Slingbox is that it is a brand-new paradigm, so it is hard for people to get it,” O’Neil said. “We communicated clearly what it does and put it in an entertaining wrapper to build interest and intrigue.”

He added, “The perfect target is the traveling businessman who is also a die-hard sports fan. We tried the sports pages on USA Today, but because most people don’t read body copy and we need to explain what Slingbox is, print wasn’t working. So sports radio has become our inexpensive lead medium.”

A former partner at Seidel O’Neil, also in San Francisco, O’Neil said he abandoned the traditional agency model for Hub because of his interest in integrated solutions. He prefers a shop such as Hub that employs only 18 full-time staffers and uses “a big network of freelancers” that perform specific tasks, he said.

Other Hub clients include McGregor Golf, Konami, Sega and Lombardi Sports.