Video Association Turns to JWT

Group Wants to Promote Rentals; Considers $25 Mil. Effort
CHICAGO–Concerned with competition from satellite dishes and pay-per-view, the home video industry will unveil a campaign early next year from J. Walter Thompson to promote movie rental in a test that could lead to a $25 million national rollout.
JWT Chicago won the assignment from the Video Software Dealers Association in a shootout with WongDoody, Seattle, said Carrie Dieterich, vice president of marketing and public relations for the VSDA in Encino, Calif. JWT does project work for one of the association’s largest members, Blockbuster.
The VSDA will put about $2 million behind the test effort of JWT’s TV work in two markets, which Dieterich declined to disclose. It’s the first time the association has done such advertising.
“We have never done generic industry advertising before,” Diete-rich said. “We’ve done smaller things for the retailers, but never anything of this magnitude.”
A trade association with more than 3,000 members representing retailers and movie studios, the VSDA held its annual convention July 8-10 in Las Vegas, during which JWT’s proposed campaign met enthusiastic response, Dieterich said.
The VSDA has discussed a national campaign before, and it even talked to some shops last year in an effort led by Joe Nitarnicola, chief marketing officer of Blockbuster Entertainment [Adweek, April 5, 1999].
The VSDA’s marketing committee, made up of about a dozen marketing executives from member companies, contacted 10 agencies shortly after the first of the year and heard presentations from just two: JWT and WongDoody.
The JWT campaign was chosen because “it’s more adaptable to a large campaign and also something a retailer can use on their own,” Dieterich said. The VSDA is holding off on the campaign test because of events competing for consumers’ attention in the third and fourth quarters, including the Presidential election and the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Dieterich said. K