Open launches £20m digital TV shopping brand campaign

Digital TV shopping service Open is unveiling a £20m marketing campaign this week to introduce its brand before its full-scale launch next month.

Digital TV shopping service Open is unveiling a &£20m marketing campaign this week to introduce its brand before its full-scale launch next month.

BSkyB-backed Open, the world’s first interactive TV service, is already available in a limited form to Sky’s estimated 1 million to 1.2 million digital TV customers.

From October it will launch the rest of its services, including home banking, shopping, games and e-mail. A national poster and satellite and cable TV campaign through Ogilvy & Mather breaks this week. The service will be aimed to appeal more to women than the traditionally male-oriented Sky. Media is through MindShare.

This will be followed by a terrestrial TV campaign jointly developed by Open and Sky.

Open, which is owned by Sky, BT, HSBC and Matsushita, will target existing SkyDigital subscribers, giving reassurance on issues such as credit card security and the impossibility of children accessing porn-ography through the system.

Charles Ponsonby, strategy director at Open, says: “We want to be the generic of the interactive TV environment.”

He says Open will appeal to the TV viewing masses because consumers do not need PC experience to use it. “It’s for technophobes,” he explains. About 99 per cent of UK homes have televisions, compared with an estimated 15 per cent with PCs hooked up to the Internet.

Open’s first three-poster executions aim to communicate a brand that is “liberating and fun”, says Nick Mercer, Open marketing director.

The second stage of the advertising will concentrate on specific promotions from the high-street brands which make up the service. Companies committed to Open so far include Dixons, Somerfield, Argos and WH Smith.

O&M managing director Rich-ard Pinder says: “The technology is so easy to use it will open up a new world for consumers.”

Next year, Sky’s digital TV channels will carry the first interactive ads linked to Open’s shopping and information services.

Open is also in talks to put its service on other digital TV platforms, such as cable.

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