TiVo Looks to C-E/West

New TV Service Earmarks $50 Million for ’99
LOS ANGELES–A Silicon Valley startup has selected Campbell-Ewald/West to handle its ad account, with projected billings of $50 million this year.
Personal television service TiVo hired the Los Angeles agency, known primarily for its DirecTV work, after informal discussions with California agencies including Goldberg Moser O’Neill and Foote, Cone & Belding in San Francisco and TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., said Lisa Varni, the company’s director of marketing communications.
“The [agency] selection criteria came down to two important factors,” said Ed MacBeth, TiVo vice president of marketing and business development. “First, when stuck at Chicago O’Hare in a snowstorm, which agency would you prefer to be stuck with? Second, which agency would let you sleep nights knowing your options were in good hands? In other words, chemistry and performance.”
Set to launch in March, TiVo premiered at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The TV-top device enables viewers to control what, when and how they watch TV. Viewers can pause or replay live broadcasts while at the same time recording the rest of the program; the system can also record shows based on consumers’ preferences.
TiVo will also provide advertisers with demographic information, allowing them to specifically target messages toward particular audiences. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company has also formed marketing partnerships with DirecTV and other TV-related companies.
“We’re first going to target new enthusiasts, those who embrace new technology,” said agency executive vice president/managing director Ian McGregor. He added that sports fans and movie buffs will be among those expected to buy TiVo, which will retail for $400-500. –with Tanya Gazdik