D. Competitive Marketing
01. Campaign
Gold Winner

2009 Competitive Campaign

Time Warner Cable

Submitted by: Elaine Covington - Marketing Manager - Time Warner Cable

Marketing Team: Marissa Freeman - SVP, Marketing Communications - Time Warner Cable; William Ortiz - VP, Marketing Communications - Time Warner Cable; Jeremy Asselin - Director, Marketing Communications - Time Warner Cable; Elaine Covington - Manager, Marketing Communications - Time Warner Cable

Creative Team: Tommy Henvey - Group Creative Director - Ogilvy and Mather; Rich Wallace - Creative Director - Ogilvy and Mather; Richard Ryan - Creative Director - Ogilvy and Mather; Christine Dodd - Partner, Marketing Director - Ogilvy and Mather; Joey Monteverde - Copywriter - Ogilvy and Mather

Marketing Summary

Situation Analysis

By 2009, telcos Verizon and AT&T’s fiber-optic networks, FiOS and U-Verse, had begun to establish a foothold that increasingly encroached on Time Warner Cable’s turf. They did this by continuing their attack on cable, painting us as old-fashioned and out of touch, which was beginning to affect our customer loyalty. They outspent us 2 to 1, and offered high-value incentives like free HDTVs and cash back. TWC had a strong competitive campaign in market, but these tactics were still effective in luring some of our customers away. Year two of the campaign needed to increase loyalty and prevent further defection.


Taking a page out of any good political playbook, our campaign named names and ruthlessly honed in on specific examples of the opposition’s gimmicks to woo customers. We stuck to the facts that mattered most to the consumers. Comedian and everyman attack dog Mike O’Malley continued to deliver our offensive. This let us communicate an aggressive message with humor, saving us from looking negative. Year two of the campaign leveraged Mike’s likability and hit even harder by adding localized messages and executions in markets where FiOS and U-Verse were most competitive, so Mike could speak even more directly to customers.


The campaign included print, banners, and cross-channel and broadcast TV to reach existing and prospective customers. TV seeded doubt by highlighting issues like FiOS’ limited calling hours and U-verse’s HD charges. It also attacked the absence of extra features that come standard with us, like Start Over. Reactions informed new executions and appropriate re-weighting of the creative rotation. Print, banner and DM had Mike’s tone of voice and were designed to elicit even faster responses. Online, Mike guided visitors through the ‘Don’t Be Ed’ website providing comparison and hard facts for consumers to make the choice themselves.


The campaign was hugely successful. Localized messaging performed about twice the category norm in awareness among existing and potential customers. It delivered on retention goals by effectively building brand loyalty across all TWC products and reducing interest in exploring competitive alternatives. TWC saw significant increases on technology, brand, affinity, ‘service superiority relative to competitors,’ and ‘understands my needs,’ helping them produce 101,000 net additional subscriptions and increase bundle subscriptions by 91,000 in Q4. We successfully achieved our goals and even drove bundling, contributing to a 5.3% YOY rise in subscription revenue, worth $864m, despite YOY decline in the media industry.