Video Industry to Take Ads National

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.
The Video Software Dealers Association, based in Encino, Calif., chose JWT Chicago for the assignment after a shootout with WongDoody, Seattle, said Carrie Dieterich, client vp of marketing and public relations. JWT does project work for Blockbuster, one of the association’s largest members.
The VSDA will spend about $2 million testing JWT’s TV work in two markets, which Dieterich declined to disclose.
“We have never done generic industry advertising before,” Dieterich said. “We’ve done smaller things for the retailers, but never anything of this magnitude.”
The VSDA–a trade association with more than 3,000 members representing retailers and movie studios–held its annual convention earlier this month in Las Vegas, at which JWT’s proposed campaign was met with an enthusiastic response, according to Dieterich.
The VSDA has discussed the idea of a national campaign before, and even talked to 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 executives from member companies, chose JWT because the work is “more adaptable to a large campaign and also something retailers can use on their own,” Dieterich said. K