Studios Give Videos Color Ad Treatment
udios launched a 16-week test here on Oct. 4 of a color newspaper insert to promote rental and sell-through releases.
"Video This Week" is being published by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Burbank, Calif.; Columbia TriStar Home Video, Culver City, Calif.; New Line Home Video, Los Angeles; Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Universal Studios Home Video, Universal City, Calif.; and Warner Home Video, Burbank.
The four-page publication's cover featured New Line's "Lost in Space," Warner's "A Perfect Murder" and Columbia TriStar's "The Spanish Prisoner." The insert was distributed in the Sacramento Bee. The middle two pages focused on rental movies, while the back cover was devoted to sell-through. Product from all six studios was featured, including lists of the top rental and sell-through titles. A sweepstakes offered Sony DVD players as grand prizes.
"This is the missing link of the video business: a guide to current rental and sell-through titles delivered weekly directly to the home," said Paul Culberg, executive vice president, Columbia TriStar. "Finally, the consumer receives dependable information of retail availability."
Circuit City Helps Divx Make a Debut
RICHMOND, Va. -- Circuit City Stores here has rolled out the controversial Divx system to 800 stores across the United States. Other electronics retailers participating in the limited-play variant of DVD are The Good Guys, Ultimate Electronics, Future Shop, Nationwide and Sixth Avenue.
Circuit City advertised Divx on the front page of its Oct. 4 newspaper circular, with copy reading: "Introducing Divx, DVD and so much more! The best way to watch movies at home." Divx also was promoted inside the circular. A new RCA player with the Divx feature was priced at $399.99, and movies were priced at $4.49 for a two-day viewing period.
The ad listed 33 movies available for Divx, including "Good Will Hunting," "Con Air" and "Tomorrow Never Dies," which were pictured on the front page. Inside, Circuit City also listed 22 regular DVD movies priced from $14.95 to $29.95, with titles such as "Lost in Space" and "Kiss the Girls" available on Oct. 6.
Consumers who buy movies on Divx discs for $4.49 have 48 hours to view them. Divx requires a special player that costs approximately $100 more than a standard DVD machine, but which also will play standard DVDs. Additional viewing time may be purchased by modem connection for about $3 or more for decoding that will allow permanent ownership of the software when the title is released for sell-through.
Many retailers involved in the traditional video trade see Divx as a threat to the development of DVD, causing consumer confusion. But some acknowledge that Divx movies could be sold in supermarkets -- if the technology can reach mass-market levels.