After watching XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR) drop the ball so many times on the marketing side, I was blown away by the effectiveness of its new fall ad campaign. The new On televised spots debuted last night, and they do everything right. They're slick. They're all-encompassing. They're logo-awareness-enriching. They single out a major benefit over rival Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI) without naming names.

Well done, XM. I don't know if it will be enough to sway me from bailing on you, but you really hit this one out of the park.

First, let's get into what was so wrong with last year's holiday campaign. XM knew it had a monster to battle with Howard Stern getting ready to leave CBS (NYSE:CBS) for the greener, open-range pastures of Sirius. What did XM give us? David Bowie swiping Snoop Dogg's necklace? The Living Large ads were light. Music celebrities with exclusive XM shows messing around in the XM studio was not the ideal message to convince an audience to resist its Sirius urge. It would have been so much easier to have Bowie utter a line from his classic hit Changes and use that as a segue to usher in the XM revolution.

XM dropped the ball, and Sirius has gone on to land more net new subscribers for four consecutive quarters.

The new ads are different. They just flat-out work. For starters, they have an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) marketing aura -- and not just because Apple, too, used "switch" as a marketing mantra. The simple yet modern animation is a kissing cousin to the popular iPod spots. The inspirational ads don't drub you over the head, yet they manage to reinforce the XM logo in creative ways. Most importantly, they close by singling out that XM offers "170 different channels to find what turns you on." Sirius, despite its similar price, offers just more than 130 channels.

This isn't going to be enough to prevent Sirius from wiping the floor with XM in the seasonally spiked fourth quarter. Sirius is going to take its winning streak to five quarters armed with everything from the NFL, Stern's presence, and the new Stiletto 100 portable receiver with Wi-Fi functionality. However, XM deserves some praise here, as it serves up a marketing message that is cool, focused, and connected.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a Sirius satellite subscriber since 2004 and an XM subscriber since this spring. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.