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Old 02-02-2003, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default Sirius Launches Ad Campaign

Sirius Tries to Sell Pay Radio

By BARNABY J. FEDER

View Article...

It is easy to love the concept of satellite radio and its 100 channels of crystal-clear digital music, news and audio entertainment. But are there millions of consumers willing to pay a monthly fee of $10 or more for such a service in a nation used to free radio?

This challenge faces both Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio Holdings, the two start-up companies behind the technology. But Sirius — hampered by rollout delays, short of cash and scrambling to avoid bankruptcy — finds itself with less than one-tenth the number of subscribers that XM Satellite has signed up. Against such a backdrop, Sirius's first major national branding effort, a wide-ranging campaign created by Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami, appears critical to the company's future.

The drive to ignite rapid subscriber growth, which begins tonight with television advertisements on late-night talk shows, aims to remind music lovers of the annoying things they can turn off by turning Sirius on.

The turnoffs include just about everything associated with conventional radio. Sirius attacks annoyances like advertising, the limited reach of AM and FM signals, and, most of all, playlists confined to a small number of heavily promoted singers and groups.

The turn-ons Sirius emphasizes include the chance to hear unsigned bands, live music, seldom-heard cuts from well-known artists and genres of music that have no home today on the AM and FM radio dials, like the electronica that shows up only in clubs and car commercials.

"People use music to sell products because they understand the emotional connection, but we are music," said Mary Pat Ryan, executive vice president for marketing at Sirius. "We are bringing that to life in the campaign."

Actually, satellite radio is more than music. Sirius, for instance, carries 14 news channels, including three regional weather channels and BBC broadcasts in English and Spanish. Sirius also has six sports channels and a variety of talk show, religious and comedy channels.

But Ms. Ryan said that the 60 music channels available from Sirius were the main attraction for potential subscribers, who each pay $12.95 a month.

Unlike XM Satellite, Sirius has kept all of its music channels commercial-free. The new campaign drives that home in a lengthy "manifesto" that Sirius will distribute at events like rock concerts and draw on in its other advertising.

"Music shouldn't be brought to you by a double espresso in a can, or jeans that ride amazingly low," the manifesto warns at the beginning of a diatribe against commercial radio.

The copy builds up to a plea to let "struggling artists yearning to break through" be heard. In other words, you do not subscribe to Sirius to hear the Beatles or Elvis, even if they can be found on some of its rock channels.

Sirius sees music as not just entertainment but as "social currency" that is shared among people, said Alex Bogusky, a partner and creative director at Crispin Porter, which is 49 percent owned by the Maxxcom unit of the MDC Corporation.

"We all have that feeling that we've fallen off our game, that we used to know more about what was going on," Mr. Bogusky said. "Sirius as a product is a shortcut to listening to an enormous cross section of what's out there."

The anti-establishment appeal of the campaign may seem a little odd. After all, the satellite companies are unlikely to find many subscribers among the disenfranchised, who tend to be short on money, even if they have a car. Still, the campaign hopes to duplicate the appeal to the inner rebel, a lode tapped so famously by Apple in its original MacIntosh ads and by Detroit's fantasy that Americans spend a lot of time driving off the paved road.

The new campaign is not Sirius's first crack at national advertising. Among other things, it ran television commercials, created by a previous agency, the McCann-Erickson Worldwide Advertising, part of the McCann Erickson World Group division of the Interpublic Group of Companies, from Labor Day through the end of last year. But those commercials highlighted incentives like rebates on the equipment needed to receive satellite radio, which can cost $300 or more, not Sirius's brand identity, according to Jim Collins, a company spokesman.

The brand identity campaign is the first from Crispin Porter, which was awarded the Sirius account last fall and has created attention-getting campaigns for clients like BMW's Mini and Ikea.

Sirius said its lawyers would not permit it to disclose the cost of the new campaign while it was in the middle of its financial restructuring, a process its competitor, XM Satellite, successfully completed last month. But, Mr. Collins said, it is much more than the $3 million spent on last fall's television ads.

Sirius will have to increase its advertising substantially to catch up with XM Satellite, which went national with a $100 million campaign that began in August 2001.

That campaign, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day, part of the TBWA Worldwide unit of the Omnicom Group, featured musicians like B. B. King, David Bowie and Snoop Dogg falling from the sky and the tag line "Radio to the Power of X." (The imagery was altered after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.)

XM Satellite spent $49.4 million on advertising in major media from January to October last year, according to CMR, a division of Taylor Nelson Sofres. By comparison, Sirius spent just $8.4 million during the first 10 months of 2002.

XM Satellite's early start and heavy advertising has helped it gain more than 360,000 subscribers; Sirius has 30,000. As a result, many use XM's name for satellite radio the way Xerox's stands for all copying, said Jimmy Schaeffler, chief executive of the Carmel Group, a media, technology and telecommunications consulting firm.

More recently, XM Satellite has received advertising support from General Motors, its largest shareholder. In the final three months of last year, G.M. spent $10 million on ads that featured XM Satellite as a selling point for GM cars equipped with satellite receivers. XM Satellite also benefited from the Delphi Corporation's introduction of a boombox, which retailed for about $200 during the holiday season, that enables XM subscribers to carry satellite service with them when they leave their cars.

But XM Satellite, which is far short of the two million subscribers it said it needs to break even, said that it welcomed any sharp increase in advertising by Sirius.

"It will benefit the category as a whole," said Chance Patterson, a spokesman for XM Satellite.

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Old 02-02-2003, 10:53 PM   #2
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Here's a copy of the Sirius manifesto...

Everybody likes music. Selling it isn’t easy, but it turns out not everybody buys it. It turns out that even fewer people own a really nice sound system. And even fewer people went out and bought a 6 disc cd changer for the trunk of their car. And just a small potion of the population has actually clunked down their hard earned dollars for an MP3 player. Why? Who the hell knows? Who the hell cares?

A better question is why do some people have $500 iPods filled with 2,000 songs from their personal cd collection and still wish they had more. The reason is that for these people, music is life. Music is how they meet new people. Music is how they fit in. Music is how they date. Music is how they fall in love. Music is how they make love. For these people, music is the currency they use to move through their social groups. And when music is all this, you can never have too much. You can never know too much. And you can never pay too much.

Pop culture is not a fad. The world marches forward. Change is the only constant. And popular music is the sound of change. The Blues, Rock, Hard Rock, the first British Invasion, Disco, the second British Invasion, Metal, Punk, New Wave, Rap, Hip Hop, Electronica, Dance, Trance. These names we did change. And in music, you either change or get left behind.

Unfortunately, the music sometimes gets hijacked, distorted and twisted for personal gain. There are times when entire industry seems to hold the music hostage from culture and we wonder if the music will ever struggle free. But there is an undeniable truth that makes corrupt and manipulative record executives bolt upright in a cold sweat in the middle of the night. That truth is this: in the end the music always wins. And those who stand in the way of music always lose.

Radio used to make waves. Long ago radio was on the side of music. As Rock and Roll began to bubble up from the musical stew it was almost immediately deemed the work of the devil and immoral by both church and state. Records were burned, songs were banned, and classics were cracked. But this is what the music wanted to be and Rock and Roll won. And so radio won too.

Eventually the music wanted to change again. But corruption and payola within the radio industry would not let the music change. Those early radio rebels had become the establishment and change represented too much risk. It would be too hard to manage. So MTV came to music’s aid and claimed video had killed the radio star. We all watched for the next ten years as music amazed us with everything it could be when it was allowed to be free. But MTV became the most powerful force in music. Then the inevitable happened. They became the establishment. (MTV producer) “From this command center we decide everything, from what clothes are in style to what thing is in Vogue.” Instead of playing the best music, they played what would make the best video. They created Britney and Christina and Justin. (Teen voice) “I like hate when crap like that comes on.” (Big Brother) “Really, well everybody else seems to like it.”

They became part of an industry model that used multi-million dollar videos and marketing campaigns to make music look better than in fact. They stood in the way of change. And the way of the sound of change. They betrayed the music, they betrayed the listener.

So now it’s time to hear the sound of change again. It’s time to side with the music again. It’s time to make the music famous again. It’s time to get behind the musicians again. It’s time to speak out against censorship. It’s time to play music uncompromised by money, politics or industry. It’s time to give the people what they want to get.

Can you hear it?

SIRIUS_it’s_ON
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Old 02-03-2003, 11:53 AM   #3
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it's_ON: Sirius Launches New Brand Campaign

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SIRIUS, the premier satellite radio broadcaster and only service delivering uncompromised coast-to-coast music and entertainment for your car and home, is launching today its largest and most provocative national brand advertising campaign ever. The new campaign is embracing music fans and challenging them to elevate their expectations and demand access to the music they love.

Created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the multimedia campaign encompasses television, cinema, magazines, newspaper, direct mail, outdoor and online components. Debuting for national television audiences this evening, this unique campaign kicks off with the first of six thirty second spots all featuring a different music genre and using computer animation to illustrate what that style of music might look like. The first spot features music by Hip-Hop turntablism artist Dr. Octagon, and it also takes the unconventional step of crediting the artist for the music heard in the ad. Other spots will highlight Hard Rock, Electronica, Jazz, Dance and Classical music. SIRIUS will also debut additional spots during the 45th Annual GRAMMY® Awards telecast airing Feb. 23 on the CBS Television Network.

"At SIRIUS, we present music in a way that has never been done before. It is delivered uncut, uncompromised, commercial free and with digital clarity -- the way artists meant the music to be heard," said Mary Pat Ryan, Executive Vice President of Marketing for SIRIUS. "SIRIUS stands for passion about music and entertainment, and our new brand campaign brings that passion to life."

The SIRIUS brand campaign features the tagline -- "it's_ON" -- and demonstrates in all its components SIRIUS' philosophy about being true to listeners, not corporate agendas.

"As an agency, the opportunities that get us most interested and excited are those that make it possible to help disrupt established institutions at the center of pop culture," said Jeff Hicks, President and Partner at CP+B. "Everyone knows that with commercial interruptions, payola and manufactured fame, radio is no longer on the side of the listener. SIRIUS offers a unique opportunity to redefine music and entertainment programming, and deliver it to listeners anywhere they go."

Ms. Ryan added, "The SIRIUS campaign is unlike anything you've ever seen on television before. The spots are guaranteed to evoke emotion, stimulate discussion and ultimately, we hope, open minds and of course drive demand for SIRIUS."

Crispin Porter + Bogusky is perhaps best known as creators of the 'truth' anti-tobacco campaigns and for their work on the US launch of the BMW MINI line of automobiles. Based in Miami and Los Angeles, Crispin Porter + Bogusky's other clients include IKEA, Molson and Bacardi. CP+B was named "Agency of the Year" by Creativity Magazine two out of the last three years and has been ADWEEK's "Agency of the Year" for the Southeast in 1999, 2001 and 2002.

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Old 02-07-2003, 12:27 AM   #4
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A Sirius swipe at corporate culture

By DAVID HINCKLEY
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

View article...

Sirius, until now the "other" satellite radio company, behind XM, has launched an ad blitz urging listeners to toss off their corporate shackles.

The new spots have messages like "Radio Off, Music On," "Corporate Agenda Off, Experimentation On," "Boy Bands Off, Unsigned Bands On," and "Censorship Off, Freedom of Speech On."

Sirius, like XM, offers more than 100 channels of music and talk programs for a monthly subscription fee. Listeners also must buy a Sirius receiver.

The campaign was created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, whose president, Jeff Hicks, says, "Everyone knows that with commercial interruptions, payola and manufactured fame, radio is no longer on the side of the listener."

He says the new campaign will "disrupt established institutions at the center of pop culture."

Sirius has dropped "satellite radio" from its name, reflecting plans to offer services like video.

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Old 02-19-2003, 12:32 PM   #5
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In regards to thier ad campaign, I just happened to catch thier latest commercial.
All I have to say is........ Sucks, sucks, sucks!!
Unless you know what satellite radio is, it is totally confusing and does a horrible job of explaining their product.
Even the letters are small. Have you noticed that? Way down in the corner of the screen you see the word "sirius"!
Lets get with the goddamn program! That is not the way to advertise! You want big freaking letters slamming you in the face!
Best of luck Siri!
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Old 02-22-2003, 05:01 PM   #6
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I concur. Usually the aim of dubious commercials is to get the viewer intrigued enough to wonder what this company is...

But these commercials have not. I just turn them off when I see them, since they're boring.

And the majority of the commercials are running late at night, when most wage earners are in bed. So who is this audience the SIRIUS people have aimed at? The jobless?
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