Sky looks to crack Christmas sales

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The Independent Online
AT FIRST sight, satellite television and eggs do not seem to have much in common, writes Maggie Brown. But Sky Television wants to persuade an extra 1 million homes to scramble for its 21 satellite television channels by Christmas, and join the estimated 3.7 million who already do. So it has recruited the marketing team that made Sega a household name, and given them a budget of pounds 18.5m.

Philip Ley, Sky's marketing director, has struck a deal to stamp a Sky advert on 8 million farm, farm-fresh and free-range eggs at Tesco supermarkets. They will carry the strapline 'Sky TV - No Turning Back' from next Monday. For four weeks egg boxes will carry the logo and the telephone number for a Sky promotion competition hot line.

'Sky TV is looking forward to poaching viewers with this first in advertising' said Mr Ley.

Jamie Walker, egg buyer at Tesco, said: 'the campaign will give our customers the chance to win some fabulous prizes'.

Mr Ley said that Sky had been marketed too exclusively to men so far, with the emphasis on sport. Now it is being broadened out in the attempt to persuade women, children and teenagers that it is 'a must-have, buy-now purchase' and that they are missing out. Football-loathing women have acted as something of a handbrake to subscriptions so far, he believes.

Another problem that Sky has faced is that satellite has been largely marketed as acquiring and installing a satellite dish, rather than as a set of programmes.

'Now we are building a brand, we have to give it a personality and give our existing customers a sense of being proud to have it,' Mr Ley said.