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Contribute to the Campaign for Blu

13 Jun, 2008 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The big guns are loaded, aimed and ready for fire. Two years after the first Blu-ray Disc players and titles came on the market, the studios and consumer electronics manufacturers are gearing up for the format's real launch, a massive promotional and marketing campaign designed to not only pump up awareness of all things Blu, but also drive home the many advantages the format offers over regular DVD, from a picture that's six times clearer — and thus perfectly suited for those snazzy new HDTVs that are fast becoming the standard in U.S. homes — to a whole suite of interactive features made possible by BD Live technology, which promises to dramatically transform the movie-viewing experience from passive to interactive.

Already, Wal-Mart stores are quietly installing elaborate Blu-ray displays in prominent positions in their electronics departments, as well as selling players for $298, cracking the vaunted $300 barrier for the very first time. (But, sadly, the chain is positioning these players right next to less-than-$100 DVD upconverters allegedly offering the same 1080p high-def resolution). The Tru Blu campaign will soon flood the market with compelling ads aimed at consumers, while the studios are busy plotting same-day releases for all their big titles on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Here at Home Media Magazine, we are going to take the unprecedented step of asking our readers to be our eyes and ears. Send us anecdotes, photos and even video clips of what your local retailers are doing to promote Blu-ray Disc. We're looking for the good, the bad and the ugly, from pictures or video clips of prominent Blu-ray displays, explanatory kiosks and software merchandisers to stories of well-informed, ill-informed or just plain uninformed clerks explaining the Blu-ray proposition to their customers.

We hope to regularly feature your contributions in both our print magazine and on our Web site, www.homemediamagazine.com. The industry's campaign to transition consumers from standard DVD to Blu-ray Disc is focusing on two things: boosting retail presence and educating clerks, the first point of contact with the consumer, and at the same time drumming up interest among consumers through widespread advertising and promotions.

We'd like to monitor how well we, as an industry, are doing. Studio as well as CE executives routinely rely on store checks to measure the effectiveness of their efforts, and we'd like to partner with them and, with your help, significantly broaden their scope.

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