America Online is planning to blanket Seattle with promotions peddling its broadband service next week. Thanks to the online giant, commuters will get free ferry tickets and AOL will carpet-bomb public concerts and events with promotions.
This is part of the company's attempt to sell AOL for Broadband as a way to stop its blood loss from dial-up consumers defecting to faster access. AOL hopes that selling a $14.95 version will be enough an incentive to keep its subscribers.
AOL's promotional push has been somewhat schizophrenic. AOL used the Super Bowl and its ill-fated half-time show to promote its dial-up service. Most TV commercials continue to show its yellow running man as an icon for its dial-up accelerator.
All this for a business that has watched more than 3 million of its customers leave? AOL claims many of them left for AOL for Broadband. But why even bother spending millions advertising dial-up when more studies show more Americans using broadband than dial-up.