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Retail HDTV Campaign Relies on Network Stars

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LOS ANGELES The NBC Agency and in-store media network Premier Retail Networks have created the second installment of a campaign aimed at educating consumers about the benefits of high-definition television.

The $2 million effort includes four 90-second spots featuring NBC stars Kelsey Grammer of Frasier and Happy Family's John Larroquette and Christine Baranski. One spot with Larroquette and Baranski notes that HDTV broadcasts in a wide-screen format—a 16 by 9 aspect ratio—while analog television transmits in a 4 by 3 aspect ratio. In another spot, Larroquette and Baranski address how to set up a home system—by either buying an HD monitor or purchasing an integrated system.

The first spot with Grammer discusses the 16 by 9 ratio, which the ad claims makes for a crisper, theater-like viewing experience. Grammer's second ad explores the benefits of digital audio and digital surround sound.

The campaign will debut in February in Best Buy, Circuit City and Sears. As with the first installment of the "This is HDTV" campaign, which broke in August 2003, viewers can experience a side-by-side comparison of programming on HD and analog television.

"With most of NBC's scripted programming produced in HD, we feel it's important that we continue to educate our viewers on the benefits of HDTV in a fun, entertaining fashion," said John Miller, co-president of The NBC Agency in Burbank, Calif., in a statement.