September 21, 2021

Campaign Spotlight: ‘How’ Now, Time Warner Cable Media?

Time Warner Cable, the nation’s No. 2 cable provider behind Comcast, plans to begin on Monday a campaign to raise the awareness of its Time Warner Cable Media division, which sells video and digital ads on cable systems, channels like NY1 and Web sites like and RoadRunner. The campaign, which is being created internally, carries the theme “That’s how.”

In adopting a two-word theme, Time Warner Cable Media is echoing a similarly pithy theme, “Enjoy better,” that was introduced early last year as part of an image campaign for the Time Warner Cable brand. Unlike the “That’s how” campaign, the “Enjoy better” campaign is created by an outside advertising agency, Ogilvy Mather Worldwide, part of WPP.

The new campaign for Time Warner Cable Media will appear in the 52 markets around the country where Time Warner Cable operates, including major cities like Dallas, Los Angeles and New York. The campaign will take advantage of ad inventory on Time Warner Cable’s own properties, meaning the ads will be what are called house ads.

That is also different from the “Enjoy better” campaign, which runs in media that are not part of Time Warner Cable in addition to appearing as house ads.

The “That’s how” campaign is scheduled to run initially for six weeks. The campaign is valued at $3 million during that time, a figure that estimates how much the house ads would be worth if they were being sold to paying advertisers.

While Time Warner Cable is known for its cable systems, the campaign is also meant to play up the abilities of Time Warner Cable Media to offer advertisers “multiscreen solutions” that go beyond television into realms like smartphones and mobile devices, says Joan Hogan Gillman, executive vice president of Time Warner Cable and president of Time Warner Cable Media.

“We’ve taken the last three to four years to become more data-driven to better service clients,” she adds.

Campaigns that lay out to prospective advertisers reasons to advertise seem self-referential or a kind of meta-marketing. But unlike a creative trend called advertising about advertising, which seeks to entertain consumers by acknowledging its purpose with a smile and a wink, advertising that promotes advertising is typically serious.

That is true of the “That’s how” campaign, which eschews the humorous vein of the “Enjoy better” campaign for a prosaic approach. Also missing are the celebrities and sports stars who promote buying cable television, Internet, phone and other services from Time Warner Cable in the “Enjoy better” ads.

The “That’s how” ads are “speaking to a very different audience,” Ms. Gillman says, in that they are aimed at “owners of local businesses, marketers and agencies.”

“They talk about finding the right solutions in a very complicated world” of advertising and media, she adds, “which is a very different message from connectivity and connecting people to entertainment” that is conveyed in the “Enjoy better” ads.

In one “That’s how” commercial, as animated figures appear on screen, an announcer asks, “How can your business grow?”

“Not just to the size you know is doable,” he continues, “but the size you dreamt of when your business was just a doodle.” At that point a cartoon napkin appears on screen with writing scribbled on it.

“The Time Warner Cable Media team can show you how,” the announcer says. “We’ll show you how the consumers you need to target are more passionate and engaged with cable’s premier programming.”

“In fact,” he adds, “they’re spending 65 percent more time watching cable than local broadcast.”

Such statistics also appear on screen as the announcer speaks, among them that “88 percent of live sports programming is on cable” and people are “20 percent more likely to purchase brands that advertise on cable.” (The sources of the statistics are research reports and surveys.)

“So how will your business grow?” the announcer concludes. “Time Warner Cable Media. That’s how.”

In a second commercial, animated figures again appear on screen along with similar statistics about the power of cable television.

“How can your company prevail?” the announcer asks, when “competition is relentless and every second a new rival seems to come out of nowhere.”

“The Time Warner Cable Media team can show you how,” he continues. “You need a partner who can target your message to the right consumers in the most-watched programming and across every screen.”

This commercial also takes a jab at local broadcast television as the announcer says that it “can only offer shrinking audiences.”

“So how will your company prevail?” the announcer concludes. “Time Warner Cable Media. That’s how.”

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Bucks: Do Tips on Nearby Bargains Outweigh Privacy Concerns?

Checking in to Foursquare on a smart phone.Noah Berger for The New York TimesChecking in to Foursquare on a smartphone.

Ever been in an unfamiliar neighborhood, hungry but without much cash in your pocket? That’s where Cheapism would like to come in. The Web site, which helps you find bargains and inexpensive products, is now offering a “location-based” version.

Cheapism has teamed with the social networking site Foursquare to offer recommendations for a meal that won’t put a big dent in your wallet — with the added perk of telling you if, say, your friends liked it, and whether they happen to be there at the moment.

For those (me included) who haven’t embraced mobile social networking offered by the likes of Foursquare, Facebook Places and Gowalla, all this might sound a bit complicated. But Cheapism’s co-founder, Max Levitte, assures me it’s not.

Here’s how it works: Let’s say you are a Foursquare user who tracks Cheapism on your account. When you use the Foursquare app on your smartphone to “check in” to a location — that is, you let your friends know where you are, electronically — Cheapism alerts you if there are nearby restaurants that it recommends. (Foursquare and its ilk let users accumulate points for repeated check-ins, which can eventually lead to discounts or coupons.)

Cheapism doesn’t do its own reviews, but it scours existing sources like Zagat’s, TripAdvisor and UrbanSpoon to create a short tip. For instance, Cheapism’s offerings for Venice Beach, Calif., note that Canal Club offers $2.50 tacos on Tuesdays. “We may not be groundbreaking, but we’re practical,” Mr. Levitte said.

The service is available in more than a dozen major cities, including New York, San Francisco and Chicago, and is beginning to branch into smaller markets in some states, like Florida. Cheapism’s restaurant tips have been available on Foursquare for almost two months and have about 16,000 followers.

Location-based services seem to be catching on, despite some uneasiness about their potential for invasion of privacy. A recent survey by Comscore found that nearly 17 million mobile phone users used such “check in” services, with 12 million doing so on smartphones like iPhones or Android phones.

Do you think links to bargain dining and shopping override privacy concerns with location-based services?

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