Oldsmobile, Blockbuster Team Up

Burnett Crafts Marketing Push for First Minivan With Video Screen
CHICAGO–General Motors’ Oldsmobile division is readying an integrated marketing blitz to introduce the Silhouette Premiere, the first minivan with a full entertainment system–including VCR and pulldown monitor (compatible with video game systems) as well as a CD and cassette player–built in as standard equipment.
Olds’ national agency Leo Burnett here has developed a multipronged marketing assault for the Premiere set for August and September in tandem with tie-in partners Time Warner and Blockbuster Entertainment.
TV spots still in production will begin with the opening credits from several classic films licensed from Time Warner, pulling back to reveal a family watching the film in their Premiere minivan, said Joni Rainbolt, Olds’ assistant brand manager on Premiere. The tagline is, “Gives a whole new meaning to motion pictures.”
A customized 60-second execution of one spot will air in movie theaters nationally via Screenvision.
“The Premiere is an industry exclusive,” said Rainbolt. “We wanted to get out the word in a big burst, positioning it as the minivan that plays movies at a time when people are going to the movies.”
Blockbuster video rental boxes are visible on the floor of the van in the TV spots. Blockbuster will be touted as the “official entertainment source” in Premiere newspaper and magazine ads in August and September. The ads will also invite consumers to test drive any Silhouette model and receive Blockbuster GiftCards of $25 or $50, depending on dealers.
Burnett’s TV spots will also be shown throughout the day on the in-store monitors at all 4,200 Blockbuster stores.
Harvey Seslowsky, Blockbuster vice president for sales, partnership marketing and licensing, said the minivan’s family appeal and entertainment features made it a perfect partner for the video chain.
A dedicated Web site for the Premiere will be established via Giant Step, Burnett’s new media unit, and will include a link to Blockbuster’s site. A 1 million-piece mailing, via Burnett, will tout the Blockbuster GiftCard offer for Silhouette test drives, Rainbolt said.
Olds spent about $20 million on the Silhouette in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Spending on the Premiere blitz was not disclosed.