With this ad on the Oscars, Comcast was not just talking to people who might take advantage of their new “talking guide” service. Families of people with visual disabilities form a pretty narrow target, one that would be reached more efficiently through direct mail or specialty print.
People don’t like cable companies in general and don’t like Comcast in particular. Whether the feelings about Comcast are well-founded or not, doesn’t matter. Attitudes toward Comcast inhibit new business. Comcast wants to merge with Time-Warner Cable and wants to be given a free hand in dealing with the Communication Workers of America (CWA). Attitudes toward Comcast make their efforts to influence regulators and legislators more difficult.
The ad is straight forward association. Through this touching ad, Comcast links itself to a warm feeling. The ad brings to life the imaginings of a charming little girl with visual disability experiencing The Wizard of Oz through Comcast’s “Talking guide.” Repeated, ideally emotional, paring is all it takes to develop association.
The information will be forgotten, but the feeling will endure. The warm feeling generated by this ad will counterbalance some of the negative feelings arising from service and pricing.