HD DVD Backers to Launch Massive $150 Marketing Blitz

Posted Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 11:02 AM PDT by
Universal August 2006 HD DVD Box Art On the heels of encouraging early sales for HD DVD players and discs, the format's backers announced the launch of an aggressive $150 million multimedia marketing campaign later this year to boost awareness of the format, reports Video Business.

The initiative will encompass all media including print, internet, television and other outlets. All advertising will boast the tagline "The Look and Sound of Perfect." A new Web site was also launched late yesterday, www.TheLookandSoundofPerfect.com, which touts the HD DVD's superior video and audio capabilities and includes trailers of HD DVD movies.

The centerpiece of the campaign is a massive traveling 18-wheeler "home theater truck" designed to boost consumer awareness of the high-definition format. Emblazoned with HD DVD signage and filled with HD DVD players and discs, the caravan will embark on a 10-city nationwide tour later this year.

Representatives from HD DVD-supporting hardware and software companies jointly announced the marketing initiative late yesterday at a press event at the annual Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) convention in Las Vegas. Executives on hand cited industry market data that suggested a high consumer "intent to buy" of HD DVD hardware and software as key to the massive marketing rollout.

Universal executive VP of marketing Ken Graffeo pointed to HD DVD research, conducted by Ipsos, "[That] given the scenario of equal studio support for both HD DVD and the competing Blu-ray Disc, respondents were more than seven times more likely to buy an HD DVD player vs. a Blu-ray player." A big difference between the two formats is price -- current hardware models sell for about $500 and $1,000, respectively.

Though only an estimated 20,000 HD DVD players have been sold to consumers since launch last April, disc sales are impressive. Certain individual titles have sold nearly 20,000 copies, almost at a ratio of one per HD DVD player owner, with some moving as many as 5,000 in their first week on shelves.

Graffeo indicated that based on the positive early response, the HD DVD format could triumph over rival Blu-ray if given more widespread marketing and better awareness at retail. "There is an element of confusion," he said. "There is product that is hidden on shelves. But the 10-city tour will help raise visibility of the format."