Charter [CHTR] wanted buzz from a Dan Aykroyd blitz of the flagship St Louis market and it got it last Thurs, as the FOP (Friend of Paul Allen) pulled a 12- hr stint hyping Charter OnDemand. The MSO is seeing results already-its VOD view rate doubled from the previous week. Midday Aykroyd played CSR surrounded by CSRs dressed like Blues Brothers, leaping up with a yell to ‘roll the trucks.’ Later, Charter CEO Carl Vogel beamed as hundreds filed into the Brentwood, MO, Circuit City [CC] to meet Aykroyd. The MSO took advantage of long lines to tout Charter HD-placing live HDNet feeds and its VOD exclusive concert with Aykroyd and Jim Belushi in front of the crowd. Game Show’s Rich Cronin got in on the act, providing a 51-inch Sony HD projection TV for giveaway by Aykroyd (Vogel providing the drum roll). Asked why he’d show at a shopping strip in St Louis, the born-to-emcee Cronin described it as "cable-industry synergy" at work. Motorola [MOT] ponied up a Broadband Media Center. Without a live HD feed Circuit City has been limited in its ability to move HD. The lack of a cheap entry point has hurt, too. Charter now provides it. The retailer was so excited by Charter’s promo and live feeds, the MSO agreed to leave the HD receivers it installed for the event. — ‘We’re Gettin’ the Brand Back Together’: The VOD campaign may be just the beginning of a new chapter in the MSO’s ties to Aykroyd as Charter prepares to rebrand. Charter’s working on a national rebranding campaign with McCann-Erickson to launch as early as Jan 1, vp branding, creative services Greg Field confirms. The product line nomenclature will change completely as will Charter’s consumer look. Aykroyd’s role? "You’ll know in about 6 weeks," Field says. — Staci D. Kramer

The Daily


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