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Philips Consumer Electronics introduced the Philips Magnavox digital videodisc player via an award-winning infomercial from Tyee Group, Portland, Ore.

There was a complex set of objectives: to introduce and educate consumers about the new DVD technology, as well as sell the product both directly via an 800-number and by driving traffic to retailers.

"When you have a technology-rich product with so many features and benefits, it's difficult to capture those in traditional advertising," said Michael Keel, VP-advertising at Philips.

The infomercial included testimonials from people in the movie industry, details about the product and a mock film noir piece to illustrate DVD's potential. The 281/2-minute infomercial, supporting the December 1997 introduction, ran nationally through March 1998 in an equal mix of broadcast and cable markets. Williams Worldwide, Santa Monica, Calif., bought media.

"We had tremendous retail sell-through," Mr. Keel said, "and it helped us secure floor space in key retail locations." Mr. Keel also cited "complete measurability of results," though he declined to provide specific response rates.

"This is indicative of the many products that need good salesmanship," said Tyee CEO Tim O'Leary. "The infomercial really becomes the replacement for the experts in the stereo store."

Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, created print, TV and cinema ads touting the DVD player.

The infomercial won Infomercial of the Year honors at the Electronic Retailing Association's annual conference last month.

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