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In the media: Comcast to pay $170M to explain Xfinity brand

Fri, 07/27/2012 - 12:17pm
Mike Robuck

What’s in a name? Apparently for Comcast, at least $170 million for a marketing campaign that seeks to better explain the company’s Xfinity brand that it launched two years ago.

According to a story in The Wall Street Journal, Comcast will run TV ads during tonight’s Olympic Games opening ceremonies that were designed to better explain the Xfinity branding effort. The spots will run on Comcast’s NBC division and will also appear on radio, print media, billboards and the Internet through the end of the year.

Comcast decided to brand its voice, video and data services with the Xfinity name two years ago, and recent services, such as Xfinity Home, also sport the unique name.

Excluding promotional time on its own systems, Comcast has spent roughly $640 million on promoting the Xfinity brand since it launched, according to Nielsen and The Wall Street Journal. But branding experts have said it’s not clear what the name means.

Xfinity traced its linage back to Comcast’s “Project Infinity.” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts referred to Project Infinity at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show. At the time, the name referred to more choices on VOD and linear TV, or an “everything available on TV” concept. Comcast had been using the Project Infinity internally for some time prior to the CES announcement.

Comcast would typically introduce the Xfinity brand after completing its all-digital conversion project in a system, which would also free up bandwidth for the launch of DOCSIS 3.0 services or more HD choices.

According to The Wall Street Journal, there was internal debate at Comcast in regard to the Xfinity brand. One concern was that it could be confused with pornographic websites. To cover its bases, Comcast bought the rights to Xxfinity.com, which converts to Xfinity.com.

At an investor conference last month, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts acknowledged that consumers didn’t know what the brand name stood for.

The new strategy centers on breaking down the silos of the various services by showing how they interact with each other. Caller ID on TV ties in with Comcast’s voice service, while iPads stream live feeds from the Olympic Games in London.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the current ads end with the tagline "this is easy, this is simple, this is awesome." Xcellent.

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