Promotion Assignment Opens Door To Blockbuster TV Work For Doner

W.B. Doner & Co. joined Blockbuster Entertainment’s agency roster in January specifically to create a summer promotion for its video rental chain. But the Southfield, Mich., agency’s first work for Blockbuster has instead turned out to be a 30-second TV spot that broke last week in 25 of the retailer’s top markets.
While Young & Rubicam, New York, remains its national agency of record, Blockbuster “will always look to have a variety of resources available to us,” said Scott Parks, advertising director for the Dallas-based retailer. The chain spent $103 million on measured media in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Two versions of the 30-second spot, touting Blockbuster’s guaranteed new release program, are airing, with one featuring a current movie trailer in the middle. Doner developed the spot with Blue Sky Productions, New York, which created its computer-generated special effects.
The ad, set in a darkened Blockbuster store that has closed for the night, features video boxes springing to life to dance and sing the Jackson Five’s 1970 song “I’ll Be There.” It promises viewers guaranteed availability of certain newly released titles each week and includes the tagline developed by Young & Rubicam: “Go home happy.”
The spot will run for six weeks and be followed by a new campaign currently in production by Y&R, Parks said.
The summer promotion assigned to Doner has been pushed back to early 1999, Parks said. That program, “Legends,” has grown in scope and will include a sweepstakes offering famous movie memorabilia, Parks said.
Doner is working on other nonpromotional, mainstream brand-building work for Blockbuster, said agency chairman Alan Kalter. Y&R declined to comment on Doner’s role.
–with Rob Lenihan