NAB Takes Wraps Off of DTV Education Campaign

Not to be outdone by the cable industry’s $200 million campaign reminding viewers that cable will stay connected during the DTV transition, NAB announced a campaign it says will be worth nearly $700 million and will cause a whopping 98 billion “impressions,” give or take a few hundred million, on the public by Feb. 17, 2009.

That’s more than 300 impressions for every person in the United States, or about one every other day till the full-power analog shutoff.

But while lawmakers and bureaucrats have praised the effort—the feds are happy to claim their leveraging their meager education funds—the details of the rollout aren’t totally clear, and NAB boss David Rehr has not committed to specific times to run some $300 million worth of PSAs.

The FCC may have other ideas. Chairman Kevin Martin has circulated rules that would mandate PSAs running at specific times, among other things.

Before the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday, Rehr defended the intitiative, which NAB will wage with media services giant Starcom MediaVest Group.

The $697 million dollar consumer campaign will include “DTV Action” spots, crawls, 30-minute educational programs, a 100-day countdown clock to the February 2009 deadline, DTV road show “Trekkers” that will visit over 600 locations nationwide, and a DTV speakers bureau that will book over 8,000 events at senior centers, Kiwanis clubs, and church and community centers.

The NAB is even working with programmers to include DTV messages in story lines of popular television shows. (That’s over and above the $697 million, Rehr told senators.)

Rehr said every broadcast network is participating, along with 95 broadcasting companies representing 939 television stations nationwide.