- The Washington Times - Monday, October 28, 2002

The National Association of Broadcasters is trying to paint a clear picture about digital TV with a consumer-awareness campaign.
The District-based trade group wants to get people hooked on the new standard in television broadcasting that produces clearer pictures and better sound than what consumers are used to with analog TV.
Some people may not completely understand "digital TV," a term that has been tossed around for years. NAB wants to change that.
In 1997, the government decided that television broadcasters needed to start broadcasting in the digital rather than in the analog mode. This switch would allow for a more efficient use of the airwaves. By 2006, 85 percent of U.S. households must have digital capabilities. But to make that work, consumers will have to buy either a digital TV or a converter box that can read the digital signal.
That's where NAB's marketing campaign comes in.
The campaign recognizes cities as "Digital TV Zones" where local broadcasters have made the switch to the digital technology. Washington is the fourth city named as a "Digital TV Zone," after Houston, Indianapolis and Portland, Ore.
The marketing efforts, which include a TV commercial highlighting the benefits of digital TV, began earlier this month in the District and will continue through the first of the year, says John Orlando, senior vice president of NAB. Wide-screen high-definition television sets have been installed at high foot-traffic areas such as the Shops at Georgetown Park and the Reeves Center at 14th and U streets NW to give people a close-up view of the technology.
"We're doing an aggressive promotion of digital TV to raise consumer awareness that local stations are broadcasting in digital," Mr. Orlando says. All the major Washington TV affiliates broadcast digitally, but viewers without digital capability on their TV sets won't be able to see the crisp, clearer picture provided by that technology, Mr. Orlando says.
The pilot programs in the three other markets have resulted in heightened awareness of digital TV as retailers there reported an increase in foot traffic and inquiries about digital TV, as well as some increase in sales of the new TV sets, Mr. Orlando says.
Sweet win
Nasuti & Hinkle's latest win the advertising for the meetings and convention business for Hershey Resorts is proof that direct-mail marketing can work.
In her quest for new business, Karen Nasuti, president of the eight-person, Silver Spring ad agency, sent a marketing piece to Hershey Resorts' director of marketing, Lynn Burkholder. It was a beer mug containing a story about a woman who walks into the corner bar and asks the bartender how to find a good advertising agency. The bartender's advice: go back to the office and wait for a call from Ms. Nasuti, who will explain all about her firm.
In a follow-up call to Ms. Burkholder just a few days later, Ms. Nasuti learned the Hershey, Pa., destination wasn't looking for a new ad agency just yet but would be in touch.
Ms. Nasuti's waiting paid off. This summer, Nasuti & Hinkle was included in a review for Hershey Resorts' $500,000 to $1 million worth of new business.
"We seek out people," said Ms. Nasuti, who typically sends out a couple of the beer mugs to potential clients every week. "We are not a gigantic agency. They aren't going to know us."
Ms. Burkholder said that had she not received that direct mail piece, it's likely Nasuti & Hinkle never would have been considered.
"Timing, doing your homework, the [marketing] piece itself and the follow up it all works together," Ms. Burkholder said.
Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide