Joint Deal Promotes Retailer and Concert DVD

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NEW YORK ( -- Retailer Best Buy has struck a deal with the Rolling Stones to exclusively handle the launch of the rock 'n' roll band's DVD in North America,
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and in return the Stones will act as Best Buy's pitchmen.

The Stones will be part of an ad blitz to launch a four-DVD box set, Four Flicks, which arrives in stores Nov. 11 (earlier this year, the band released a greatest hits collection, Forty Licks). The band will appear in the consumer electronics retailer's TV and print ads, online advertising, Sunday circulars and in-store advertising.

TiVo showcase
Best Buy will also air a branded "entertainment showcase" on TiVo that will include one of the spots and a four-minute clip of the song "Honky Tonk Women" from the DVD. Another 1.5 million pieces of e-mail will offer a clip of "Satisfaction" and a link to the Best Buy Web site urging consumers to pre-order Four Flicks.

"This is, by far, the biggest and most complicated thing we've ever done," said Michael Linton, Best Buy's chief marketing officer. Best Buy has done tie-ins in the past with artists such as Sting, Sheryl Crow and N'Sync, as well as a tie-in with last summer's James Bond film, Die Another Day.

"What we really want to do is increase the power of our brand with rock 'n' roll royalty," said Ruby Anik, vice president of advertising.

Mr. Linton would not give a figure, but said this effort will include significant media spending. Best Buy spent $302 million on measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Times Square spot
The campaign aims mainly at shoppers aged 25 to 54, with a special focus on men, Ms. Anik said. Ads will run during prime-time, late-night and sports programming on broadcast and cable networks and in upscale entertainment and lifestyle publications including Wenner Media's Rolling Stone and Conde Nast Publications' Vanity Fair, she said. Additionally, a 60-second spot will air on the Jumbotron screen above New York's Times Square Nov. 11 to mark the release.

"If this was released at another time of the year, we'd be on the Super Bowl," Ms. Anik said.

The four-month exclusive will bridge the holiday season and will be a large part of Best Buy's holiday campaign, Mr. Linton said.

The exclusive deal had raised some hackles among competing electronics retailers now shut out of a potential lure for holiday shoppers. DVDs are a big gift item during the holidays and electronics are at the top of the shopping list for this season.

Transported to a rock concert
The TV spots continue Best Buy's "Thousands of possibilities" campaign, in which shoppers are transported from the store to an experience around the product they are looking to buy; in this case, a young woman and the salesman wind up front-row center at a Rolling Stones concert.

The spots were shot during the band's tour stop in the Netherlands, at concerts in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The logistics of shooting both the band and the actors were tricky, but the creatives felt it was necessary to shoot the concert footage, said Joe Michaelson, group creative director at Best Buy Advertising, the company's in-house agency.

"It's pretty easy to fake, [but] we insisted on getting our actors there," Mr. Michaelson said. "We wanted to communicate the level of our partnership."

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