VSDA to Commission Ad Study

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The Video Software Dealers Association plans to develop
research to determine how effectively various advertising vehicles drive rental traffic.

The new study will begin as soon as a research company is
selected, according to VSDA chairman Mark Vrieling.

The association is taking bids for the project, which it
estimated will cost $80,000 to $200,000, depending on the company selected. Mars &
Co., which recently developed a study for the VSDA on copy-depth programs, is in the
running.

The proposed study will test different advertising media,
from direct mail to television, to determine which are most effective at driving consumers
into video stores.

The VSDA's marketing message is competing with marketing
efforts from both cable operators and direct-broadcast satellite services for their
pay-per-view, near-video-on-demand and VOD services.

"We want to say, 'If you do this type of advertising,
you can predictably expect to get this kind of return,'" Vrieling said.

If possible, he added, the study would combine existing
research available from studios and large chains with an evaluation of various types of
advertising in different-sized markets.

One of the study's goals is to help retailers and studios
determine how to use co-op advertising dollars to derive the biggest returns.

Study results "will dictate" which advertising
and marketing programs the group develops for its members in the future, Vrieling said. If
the study determines that national advertising is the best way to reach consumers, he
explained, the association may "lobby studios to start a fund and put together a
mass-market effort."

Several studios are already developing a
multimillion-dollar marketing effort for the PPV industry. The campaign would tout the
merits of digital PPV, possibly using a popular movie personality to relay digital PPV's
message to the consumer.

Joan Villa is an editor at large for Video Business,
a sister publication to
Multichannel News. R. Thomas Umstead contributed to this
story.

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