With consumers increasingly relying on staying connected to a cavalcade of devices, Comcast is positioning its Xfinity brand to capture a market share in the cable television, internet, telephone and wireless services categories with a variety of marketing.
The activations have been wide-rangin and varied, like Xfinity leveraginged celebrities and tentpole movies to help promote Xfinity X1 features, including Kevin Hart, the Minions, Olympian Carli Lloyd and The Secret Life of Pets. They’ve also partnered with social media creators like Josh Peck, King Bach, Meghan McCarthy and Zach King to create content based on their favorite features.
There is also the X1 Challenge, which takes Xfinity X1 on the road with Chris Hardwick with an interactive bus, to let people compare X1 features to competing video platforms. The X1 Bus Tour is now in its second year and visits nearly 50 major events, including state fairs, city festivals and sporting events.
For more emotional and relatable marketing that celebrates family and togetherness, Xfinity activated with “Hooking Up Grandma’s House” for the holidays last year, which put the spotlight on families that miss their favorite technologies while visiting their grandparents during the holiday season.
AListDaily sat down with Peter Intermaggio, senior vice president of brand marketing and communications for Comcast, to discuss how the Philadelphia-based subsidiary is positioning the brand with marketing across a variety of different verticals.
What is the company’s mission in the space in reaching new consumers? Why do you think Xfinity is emerging as a household brand?
We operate in an exceptional marketspace that really matters to people—at the intersection of technology, entertainment and media. Over the last few years, we’ve worked hard to position Xfinity as a technology and lifestyle brand by highlighting industry-leading products, authentically connecting the Xfinity brand with popular culture, and deploying aggressive customer acquisition campaigns. Meanwhile, our category is intensely competitive, with a mix of traditional distributors and new entrants. And still, this year Xfinity debuted at No. 23 on the BrandZTM global top 100 only seven years after the brand was launched.
What categories are you emphasizing on?
I look to the work we’re doing with music tour sponsorships (Taylor Swift and Katy Perry), with award show programming (The Oscars, Country Music Awards and Billboard Awards), in sports partnerships (NASCAR Xfinity Series sponsorship along with NFL, NBA and MLB sponsorships), and our investment in esports, including sponsorship of the ESL gaming league and the Evil Geniuses esports team. These are all examples of how we are reaching audiences and building the Xfinity brand.
Why is a presence in eSports critical for the brand?
Gamers are classic “heavy users.” They’re among the most demanding internet users, so we’re using our esports presence to highlight our industry-leading internet speed and reliability. We’re sponsoring ESL, the world’s largest eSports company, and Evil Geniuses, the most successful North American professional gaming organization. We’re just entering our second year with both ESL and Evil Geniuses, and through these partnerships, we’ve opened up two Xfinity training facilities for Evil Geniuses—one in Alameda, California and another in Bloomington, Illinois. Both facilities are serviced by Xfinity gigabit internet speeds, the fastest available in the area. As an official ESL partner, Xfinity naming and branding is present at industry broadcasts, tournaments and events. We’re also working with the ESL to create and distribute unique content, as the eSports market has clearly shown a strong desire for behind-the-scenes access.
Considering you are a Comcast-owned brand, how are you influencing overall industries and trends for marketers?
We market through the funnel effectively by aligning brand and product features with hardworking, every day “always-on” acquisition campaigns on TV, in digital and in direct mail. Our ability to work within our company with the marketers and brands of NBC Universal is a particular advantage. This year, we produced a small film which highlighted Xfinity Internet speeds by featuring a wild ride in the cars from the movie The Fate of the Furious. We got 34 million views and incredible engagement levels. We also worked with virtually every network and property of NBC Universal to promote our X1 Voice Remote and got outstanding results. Outside of NBC Universal, we’ve partnered with a number of music award shows to highlight the X1 Voice Remote’s capabilities. This has included in-show integrations like using our voice remote to announce award nominees.
What was the mission behind your experiential activation at San Diego Comic-Con with the themed TV diner last month? Is experiential something you want to explore further?
If you want to have a lifestyle brand, you have to go where people are engaging with entertainment. At Comic-Con, we recreated sets from Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black and Marvel’s Luke Cage so fans could immerse themselves in the settings of these popular shows while enjoying some food made famous by the programs themselves. We had thousands of people come through our space and have fun with their favorite shows and with our brand. It was a great way to highlight our recent Netflix integration and to celebrate the new season of Game of Thrones.
How are you offsetting challenges from new competitors?
Our products and our marketing are truly insight-led. These innovations allow us to strengthen the Xfinity brand and separate ourselves from the competitors. We’ve really put an emphasis on product experience as a differentiator. For example, Xfinity X1 has changed the way people enjoy television. Our X1 Voice Remote provides dozens of moments of “surprise and delight” for customers every day. Our recently launched Xfinity xFi internet platform gives customers visibility and control over one of the most important technologies in their home—wi-fi.
How is the Xfinity X1 platform being positioned to capture market share through innovation in entertainment programming?
Xfinity X1 is at the center of our video strategy and scores well on every metric—customer satisfaction, video consumption and retention, among others. It’s an easy-to-use platform that puts all of your entertainment experiences in one place—live TV, 130,000 Xfinity On Demand choices, DVR, Netflix and web video—and it’s controlled by the X1 Voice Remote, which makes finding what you want to watch fast, simple and fun. We’re really proud of the way we’re showcasing these innovations. Every day we’re finding new ways to highlight our brand and product story.