Hal Riney Turning On ReplayTV

Agency Suggests Brand Could ‘Change the Television Landscape’
SAN FRANCISCO–ReplayTV hired Publicis & Hal Riney to handle its estimated $8-10 million creative and media account after an informal review of Northern California agencies.
Heading the search was the company’s executive vice president of marketing, Buzz Kaplan, a former Los Angeles-area ad executive.
“We wanted a shop that is very creative but is not a boutique, since our account requires full-service capabilities,” said Kaplan, who retired last year as executive vice president at Fattal & Collins (now Houston Helm Fattal & Collins) after nine years with the Marina del Rey, Calif., shop.
The client was impressed with Riney’s branding work for Saturn and First Union Bank, but paid particular attention to its Sprint PCS ads, since Sprint’s product and market are “similar to what we are dealing with,” Kaplan said.
Previously, print ads and collateral work had been handed by US Web/CKS, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco.
“This is a strategically important win for the agency because it gives us a chance to define a new category,” said Tim Maleeny, Riney director of strategic development.
A national campaign, anchored by spot TV, is expected to roll out in March, when the product, co-branded with Panasonic, becomes available in electronics stores nationwide, said sources. Currently, the ReplayTV-branded product is sold only through direct mail, the company’s Web site and e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com.
Handled properly, the brand “has the potential to change the television landscape,” Maleeny said.
Manufactured by Replay Networks in Mountain View, Calif., ReplayTV, which retails for about $700, is a personal video recorder and service. It allows viewers to find and store TV programming for on-demand playback and control live programming with such features as pause and fast-forward.
Separately, the San Francisco agency also won the estimated $20-25 million account for ePods, a Seattle startup that plans to introduce a device later this year for simplified Internet access.