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Blockbuster to Bow First TV Spot in Nearly Four Years

17 Nov, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

It may be bankrupt, but that isn’t stopping Blockbuster Inc. from airing the first of two national television spots during the Nov. 22 season finale of ABC TV’s “Dancing With the Stars.” (See the ad here.)

The 30-second spot, which also airs on CBS, Fox, NBC and related cable and satellite channels, titled “Why Wait” features a series of comedic spoofs showcasing consumers being asked to wait 28 days for services ranging from a restaurant table, a seat on an airplane and sitting in the dentist’s chair.

It will also air Thanksgiving Day during afternoon and evening NFL telecasts featuring the Dallas Cowboys against the New Orleans Saints and the New York Jets against the Cincinnati Bengals.

A second comedic spot underscoring a similar theme will air nationally beginning Dec. 7. Blockbuster’s last national TV spot aired during the Feb. 4, 2007, Super Bowl.

The $15 million to $20 million campaign is designed to inform consumers about Blockbuster’s multichannel distribution platform, including Blockbuster Express kiosks, Blockbuster By Mail, Blockbuster On Demand video-on-demand service and Blockbuster stores, according to spokesperson Patty Sullivan.

Sullivan said in the months leading up to Blockbuster’s Chapter 11 filing, the company did not have the resources to properly market the street-date availability of new-release movies from Warner Home Video, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Universal Studios Home Entertainment delayed 28 days to Netflix and Redbox.

“Because of the debt we couldn’t full market the good things going on at Blockbuster,” Sullivan said. “The ads will remind consumers about Blockbuster as a source for gift-giving ideas from stocking stuffer to consumer electronics.”

Separately, Blockbuster this week launched branded gift cards in denominations from $5 to $50. Purchases of $25 in gift cards will include another $5 card for free.

The Dallas-based rental chain is also marketing a series of holiday-themed snack offerings, including chocolate-covered fortune cookies and flavored popcorn.

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