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RCA Press Release for September 10, 1981


RCA Launches its Biggest Advertising and Merchandising Campaign for Fall

NEW YORK, September 10 -- With the video products industry approaching the $10 billion retail sales level for the first time, RCA today unveiled its biggest advertising and merchandising effort ever for the last four months of 1981.

Highlights of the Fall campaign include:

-- A totally new direction for the RCA color TV campaign aimed in part at consumers who "will be leading 'The Video Revolution'."

-- RCA's largest Fall retail promotion ever, "Video Expo Days," which will include for the first time TV, VCR and VideoDisc products.

-- Initial use of RCA's designation by the National Football League as "Video Equipment Supplier to the NFL."

-- A $20 million advertising/promotion campaign for the company's new VideoDisc player during the heavy Fall selling season.

-- The support of a strong video cassette recorder business with a multi-million advertising/promotional effort during the balance of 1981.

Jack K. Sauter, RCA Group Vice President, said the extraordinary RCA campaign for the three major video products -- television, VCR and VideoDisc -- is directly related to the exceptional sales results being shown by the consumer video industry so far this year. "While the total economy may not be robust, the video business is booming."

Mr. Sauter, who is also Vice President and General Manager of the RCA Consumer Electronics Division, pointed to anticipated industry retail sales of $9.4 billion in 1981 for video products, a 59 percent increase from the 1977 total. "Looking ahead just four years, we now estimate that the industry's basic video business will achieve retail sales of nearly $16 billion in 1985 as both the VideoDisc gains strength and VCR sales maintain their upward growth," he said.

Mr. Sauter noted that RCA is well positioned to participate in this new sales growth since "we are prominent in each major product category and our sales this year are running ahead of the industry's strong figures."

RCA's new color TV advertising campaign "is designed to clearly say to the consumer that something remarkable has taken place at RCA," said James K. DeVoe, Vice President, Consumer Communications. Featuring a "We'll Open Your Eyes" theme, the campaign stresses different products or features against a background of contemporary living situations but with special human flavor, he noted.

Noting that RCA research had isolated the different segments of the consumer market, Mr. DeVoe said "the young professionals, the affluents, the traditionals and the TV families will see a whole new look, sound and attitude from RCA." Whether small screen color TV or projection television, the public will be exposed to commercials and print advertising that clearly associate RCA with more product areas than many people realize, he said.

"We are particularly interested in those sophisticated consumers who we feel will be leading the video revolution into new product areas," Mr. DeVoe said.

The initial thrust of the new color TV campaign consists of four rotating commercials that will comprise one of RCA's largest commitments ever covering sports, prime time and late night television. Separate print ads, initially stressing small screen color TV and the sophisticated features of the ColorTrak 2000 series, will run in a diverse group of magazines.

"Video Expo Days" represents RCA's largest retail promotion ever involving television, VCR and VideoDisc products. The event will run from September 7 to October 25 and is being supported extensively on network television and by a double spread scheduled to run September 17 in some 230 editions of major daily newspapers.

The promotion with participating dealers involves $60 to $150 trade-in allowances on color TV, $100 worth of bonus coupons on VCR and a combination $50 rebate/10 day money back guarantee on RCA VideoDisc players. Local TV and radio commercials for dealer use, point-of-sale kits, and other promotional activities have been created to support the national retail event.

As noted previously, RCA's Fall campaign for VCR products will represent a 61 percent increase over the comparable period of a year ago, with major emphasis on television and magazine support. Mr. DeVoe said the campaign will have a theme of "No One Gives You More VCR Than RCA."

The designation of RCA as the official "Video Equipment Supplier to the NFL" will be promoted extensively in all video products advertising.

Each RCA magazine ad, for example, carries a prominent mention of the designation along with the NFL logo. RCA distributors will promote the new association at the local level, particularly in the 28 markets that feature an NFL football team.

In VideoDisc advertising and promotional support, RCA will be spending some $20 million during the September-December period to build an awareness of the new RCA product. "Our plans have always called for most of 1981's budget to be spent in the important Fall sales period when purchase commitments are normally made for major family gifts," Mr. DeVoe said.

RCA VideoDisc player and discs will be included in the "Video Expo Days Promotion," highlighted by a full color, 4-page newspaper insert that will appear in 155 Sunday newspapers on October 4, The circulation of the insert will be 40 million.

Four television commercials devoted to VideoDisc will form the company's network television campaign, providing "several compelling reasons to own an RCA VideoDisc system," Mr. DeVoe said. Consumer magazines will also be used, stressing the wide variety of programming available on video discs. RCA is also launching a major network radio campaign in support of VideoDisc products.

Additionally, Mr. DeVoe said a national shopping center tour has been launched with a special display built around the RCA VideoDisc system. Ninety-four major shopping centers across the country will be visited by the RCA display during selected weekends when consumer traffic is at its highest point, he noted.


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