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DirecTV calls to collect ‘Damages’ viewers

Politcos weren’t the only folks making robocalls this week. John Goodman was also dialing up potential viewers, asking them to watch his latest series, “Damages.” Damages

The star of the new season of the Glenn Close starrer was alerting potential auds about the new season that launched Wednesday night on DirecTV. The former FX series begins its fourth season, this time on the satcaster after the cabler canceled the series due to low ratings.

The marketing strategy isn’t a new one, but is it effective?

Jon Gieselman, DirecTV’s senior VP of advertising and PR, said the technique is a “throwback to Home Shopping Network. It’s not a sales call. We view it as a customer service tactic, letting people know that ‘Damages’ is exclusively on DirecTV.”

The exec said his team auto-called subscribers from the 19 mllion-plus DirecTV database who met a certain demographic criteria — likely desirable ZIP codes and household incomes. Costs are relatively low and the reach can be great.

As for whether broadcast and cable networks will take up this type of campaign as the fall season launches, hoping to help auds cut through the clutter, one showbiz marketing pro thought it was doubtful, calling the technique “invasive.”

“Do they help sway political leanings when you hear these calls?” the exec asked. “Once you start hearing those, you immediately hang up.”

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