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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment is preparing a $5 million ad campaign and cross-promotion with Visa USA to hype rentals of "Tomorrow Never Dies," available May 12.

MGM's marketing support is believed to be the biggest ever from a studio to support the rental business of a key title. Typically, studios save their marketing dollars to promote purchases of their videos, not rentals.


"The rental industry has matured and is so competitive, MGM is trying to do something different, something to support the retailers, which have always urged us to advertise to the rental market," said Chris Saito, MGM Home Entertainment's director of marketing rentals.

MGM's investment in "Tomorrow Never Dies" is indicative of the film's 1997 theatrical success. The movie came at a time when the struggling studio was starved for hit.

MGM threw a massive amount of marketing weight against the film, including a $100 million-plus promotional program aimed at adults, led by tie-ins with BMW of North America, Heineken USA and Visa USA.

"Tomorrow Never Dies" grossed $310 million worldwide and $122 million in the U.S., $20 million more than the last Bond flick, 1995's "Goldeneye." "Tomorrow Never Dies" was honored last month by the Film Information Board as the best marketed film of 1997.


Media support, mostly TV, breaks May 10 and will run through the July 4 weekend. The plan includes national buys on "The X-Files," "Home Improvement," late-night talk shows and sports programming.

Creative is handled in-house.

MGM will create awareness for the video via a 59-day pay-per-view window and point-of-purchase ads. And Visa is supporting the awareness push with media spending of its own.

Visa will adapt a TV spot for its check card featuring actor Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. The commercial ran late last year during the film's theatrical run.

BBDO Worldwide, New York, is handling that effort.

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