JWT Gives a Thumbs-Up

First Blockbuster Work Talks Video Games To Teens
CHICAGO–J. Walter Thompson here showcases Blockbuster’s video game rentals in its first work for the Dallas-based company, breaking this week.
The two 30-second TV spots break on MTV, Nickelodeon and the in-school network Channel One. The spots, aimed at teenagers and young adults, humorously acknowledge the physical intensity of playing the games while promoting Blockbuster’s five-day rental period.
One spot, “War Wounds,” shows teens comparing their game-worn thumbs at a high school pep rally. One has a small blister; another’s is disfigured from all his playing. But the “cool kid” shows off two throbbing, heavily blistered thumbs, raw from playing games rented from Blockbuster for five days.
The second spot shows a teen turning into a zombie from his around-the-clock playing.
Both spots are tagged, “Are you game enough?” Jeff York, JWT group creative director, said the tag is a challenge to the youth market. “We want to see if they’re tough enough for the Blockbuster experience,” he said.
The media schedule may expand to broadcast networks and cinema previews in the near future, York said. No budget was disclosed. W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich., is lead agency on Blockbuster’s estimated $100 million account.
Blockbuster hired JWT earlier this year on a project basis to create advertising for its video game rentals. The agency was recruited on the basis of its teen marketing experience, which includes work for toy company Bandai America and on Lunchables products from Oscar Mayer Foods.