The residents of the town formerly known as Clark, TX, have probably started sending out change-of-address labels. That’s because the town changed its name two weeks ago to EchoStar Communications will give every household in that town a Dish Network satellite TV receiver, standard installation, and its America’s Top 60 programming package free for 10 years in exchange for the town’s agreeing to change its name legally and permanently.
It was all part of Dish Network’s City Makeover crusade, which ran through September. About a half-dozen communities, including the former town of Clark, answered Dish’s public relations blitz.
“We accepted this challenge because we believe this relationship will give us a unique opportunity to put our town on the map,” says Dish mayor Bill Merritt, “and we hope it will help us attract new people and businesses so that our town can grow in the right direction.” The town currently has just 125 households.
The Dish Network ran the campaign as part of its rebranding efforts and a new advertising campaign that promises “Better TV for All.” Though he wouldn’t be specific, Dish Network spokesperson Mark Cicero says it will use the renamed town in future marketing and advertising campaigns.
“We haven’t come up with an exact plan yet, but this was a great opportunity to create publicity and buzz and gain national attention for the brand,” Cicero says. “We wanted to do something that would help us cut through the clutter of satellite and cable TV services.”
Dish, TX, however, is not the first town to change its identity as a result of a marketing campaign. Back in 1999, the town of Halfway, OR, agreed to change its name to Half.com before the online portal of the same name even launched. That buzz marketing campaign helped the Website grow to 8 million registered users in two years.