The UK’s largest video rental chain, Blockbuster Video, has opted
for a radical change of direction in its latest ad campaign, swapping
madcap humour for a stylised creative that uses the David Bowie classic,
Sound and Vision, as a backing track.
The work, created by GGT, forms part of an pounds 11 million 1997
marketing budget, a large part of which will be spent on TV. Themed
’entertainment in every sense’, it emphasises that video games and music
can also be rented from Blockbuster stores.
The new strategy kills off the ’Hollywood Entertainment Team’, who have
spent the past 18 months drumming home the message that Blockbuster
carries more copies of top films than any other store.
The ad opens with a woman, shot in black and white, stepping out of a
car on a rainy street and walking up to the Blockbuster window to peek
into a world of colour. Inside, a man chooses a tape and the ad cuts to
him loading it into his VCR at home. As the tape rolls, the soundtrack
starts and we are taken inside the machine where two helicopters are
chasing a car, which suddenly explodes out from the screen, blowing most
of the contents of the man’s flat away. The word ’movies’ appears
briefly before the film cuts to another segment, labelled ’music’,
featuring a woman floating in front of a wall of CDs. A final sequence,
’games’, features children playing video games in their front room as a
brightly coloured aeroplane swoops over their heads.
Peter Jones, group account director at GGT, said: ’If you are in the
entertainment business, your advertising must entertain. The campaign is
designed to demonstrate that Blockbuster is much more than a video
The ad was directed by Mike Lipscombe through the Artists Company. The
copywriter on the campaign was Johnathan Budds and the art director was
Christine Jones. Media is handled by Media Solutions.