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SI: Studios Agressively Marketing Blu-ray This Holiday With Tru Blu Campaign

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A $25 million Blu-ray Disc marketing campaign launched this week from the Digital Entertainment Group and a number of studios, raising the format’s profile in time for the holiday season. Dubbed ‘Tru Blu,’ the TV, online and in-theater blitz kicked off during Fox’s NFL programming on Sunday, Nov. 2. The campaign will target consumers ages 25 to 44 who already own or intend to purchase HDTVs. Tru Blu is designed to both spur Blu-ray fourth-quarter spending as well as educate consumers about the advantages of the format. The spots will additionally drive viewers to the Web site WatchBlu.com, which includes Blu-ray news, trailers and exclusive content.

Retail plans to support the campaign with in-store merchandising to help customers navigate through their Blu-ray purchasing. Studios coming together to finance the Tru Blu promotion are 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Home Video. Electronics manufacturers Panasonic and Sony also are involved.

“Blu-ray is clearly the best way to watch and experience high-definition in the home,” DEG chairman and Disney president Bob Chapek said. “It is unrivaled by any other delivery system and theretofore becomes essential to accompany any high-definition TV. As such, Blu-ray is a clear successor to DVD and will enable a revolutionary entertainment experience that will transcend the next decade of movie watching in the home.”

The DEG and studios are proud of Blu-ray’s progress so far. U.S. consumers are expected to purchase 2.4 million Blu-ray set-top players in 2008, three times more than what sold in 2007, according to DisplaySearch. Blu-ray software sales now account for more than 10% of sales for major releases, marking a significant uptick over its Blu-ray portion sales from last year. Still, the Tru Blu backers hope to give the format an extra push for the holidays, which are hitting at a time when consumers are spending conservatively in a softening economy. This blitz marks the studios’ second major collaborative effort to promote Blu-ray. Last year, during the thick of the format war, studio-backed ads pushed the image that high-def TVs and Blu-ray players make the perfect marriage.

TV programs set to feature the Tru Blu campaign include ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money and Grey’s Anatomy, Fox’s House and NBC’s The Office and Law & Order: SVU. Web sites targeted include Maxim.com, GameSpot.com, ESPN.com and MSN.com. Ads also will unspool in theaters nationwide.

Article courtesy VideoBusiness.

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