Arnold Communications last week broke three 15-second commercials introducing a technology that puts movies on digital disks with a built-in pay-per-view system.
The teaser campaign for the technology known as Divx is a precursor to an estimated $100 million-plus national ad blitz set to roll out in August.
The spots, now airing on popular prime-time programs in Richmond, Va., and San Francisco, carry the tagline: "The best way to watch movies at home." Divx is manufactured by Digital Video Express in Richmond.
Arnold has signed actor David Foley of NBC's NewsRadio to appear in commercials this summer, sources said. Agency and client representatives would neither confirm nor deny Foley's involvement. Actor John Cleese was also considered for a part in the spots, a source said.
The upcoming campaign is expected to address common problems that consumers have with current video rental arrangements and highlight the benefits of Divx, including low price, never having to return disks to video stores and the ability to stop and start movies at will.
Divx representative Josh Dare last week declined comment on the content of future spots. Agency sources cautioned that since the commercials are still in development, changes could still be made.
One teaser spot now airing opens with a quote superimposed over the face of a horse. Attributed to Henry Ford's banker in 1903, the quote reads: "The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a fad." The camera pulls back to reveal a mounted police officer on a median amid a sea of traffic.
A second execution features a quote attributed to Lord Kelvin of the Royal Society in 1895: "Heavier than air flying machines are impossible." A wide-bodied jet then breaks through the type.
The commercials flag the availability of Divx at Circuit Cities, one of the technology's underwriters, and The Good Guys on June 10. All spots close with a toll-free phone number.