Tri-Vision International, which owns exclusive rights to the controversial V-chip technology, tapped Nashville, Tenn., startup shop McGee Best Frank & Ingram to brand the system in the U.S.
The ad budget is about $4 million, per Todd Grunberg, vice president of marketing and business development at Tri-Vision in Toronto. He said spending could run as high as $10-15 million depending upon sales once the device--which allows parents to screen the content of TV programs--becomes available in May.
McGee Best Frank & Ingram (MBF&I) was chosen over two undisclosed New York agencies. That MBF&I has ties to a Tri-Vision distributor, Ingram Entertainment in Nashville, was a plus, Grunberg said.
The agency plans to "brand the technology rather than just launch a product," according to MBF&I vice president of client services Christopher Cunningham.
Tri-Vision's development will be branded as V-gis, a name coined by MBF&I from the term V-chip and the Greek word "aegis." A television, radio and print campaign will launch regionally this spring, featuring the tagline, "They're only young once, protect it for all it's worth."
This spring Tri-Vision will target about 16 markets around the country during the first wave of a national campaign, Grunberg said.
V-gis will be available in television set-top products through electronics retail stores and cable operators this spring. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 dictates that each new TV is equipped with a V-chip by 1998.