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RCA Press Release for September 1, 1982


'STAR WARS' to Highlight RCA Promotions for VideoDisc System this Fall

INDIANAPOLIS, September 1 -- Five separate promotions will be launched by RCA this fall in support of its "CED" VideoDisc system, including plans for a national "Star Wars" campaign that features the box office champion movie currently being introduced on video disc.

RCA's fall activities are designed "to build on new momentum now favoring VideoDisc," said Jack K. Sauter, RCA Group Vice President. "One year after the introduction of the RCA VideoDisc system, we have fashioned a strong marketing effort that combines the new $299.95 optional retail price level for a player with the proven success of outstanding movies that a consumer will want to own for convenient viewing."

Thomas G. Kuhn, Division Vice President, RCA VideoDiscs, noted that consumer reaction to the offering of more current movies such as "On Golden Pond" and "Superman" had been very positive this summer, particularly when retailers offered the discs free with the purchase of a player.

"It is quite clear that software has become a major sales opportunity for a variety of consumer electronic dealers, particularly those who make a strong display commitment to the expanding 'CED' catalog," Mr. Kuhn said. He noted that RCA has just concluded a pilot agreement with Sears that will result in RCA VideoDiscs being displayed in more than 750 of the company's stores.

Mr. Sauter said the signs of momentum in favor of the "CED" VideoDisc system included "a growing awareness by retailers of the favorable business opportunities represented by this new product that will certainly benefit from an improvement in the nation's economy. As the cumulative impact of national advertising and strong software-oriented promotions take effect with the consumer, we fully expect that VideoDisc will be a demand item at retail this holiday season."

The RCA executive also noted that the "CED" system has clearly "forged to the front in the video disc competition." RCA sales to dealers rose sharply this summer, he said, with more players sold in total over the past 12 weeks than the previous 37 weeks combined.

He attributed recent sales gains by the "CED" system to the introduction of stereo players. RCA now offers two stereo models in its full line of four VideoDisc players, and "the demand for stereo VideoDisc has been exceptionally strong," Mr. Sauter said.

"We now expect that nearly half our total player sales will be in stereo models." RCA's new deluxe model, SGT250, with wireless remote control and electronic function controls, has already been increased in production plans. Both RCA stereo VideoDisc players are equipped with output jacks for hookup to an external amplifier/speaker system or stereo-ready TV.

RCA's first major national promotion begins Friday, September 3 and features a free disc offer and a money-back guarantee. Participating dealers will arrange for the purchaser of any model RCA VideoDisc player to receive two free VideoDisc albums direct from RCA. Purchasers can also take advantage of a five-day free home trial of an RCA VideoDisc player as part of the promotion.

Factory RCA advertising in support of this event will be highlighted by a major newspaper ad in some 200 markets in mid September, followed by two 1500-line ads in late September and October. The free disc offer will also be highlighted on RCA's network TV commercials.

The company's planned "Star Wars" promotion will begin October 21 and will be built around an offer of the just-released stereo "CED" video disc title with an optional retail price of $34.98. The "Star Wars" disc will be offered free with the purchase of an RCA VideoDisc player at participating dealers.

RCA will introduce the promotion next month with a major advertising and merchandising campaign that builds on the unprecedented appeal of the George Lucas-produced movie that surpassed all previous box office records and was seen by more than a billion movie goers. RCA will spend over $2 million on national television and in newspapers to advertise the free "Star Wars" promotion.

Mr. Sauter noted that the proven mass appeal of "Star Wars" will "certainly help establish video disc as an entertainment medium in its own right and as a more attractive and economical means for consumers to build their own movie libraries at home." He noted that "Star Wars" as a 20th Century-Fox video disc is optionally priced less than half that of the tape version.

Three special RCA promotions this fall are designed to appeal to fans of specific categories of entertainment, such as the James Bond series, horror films and comedy. As noted, Mr. Kuhn said that during the period September 14 through October 16, consumers will be offered a $10 incentive with the purchase of three Bond titles.

Following up that particular software promotion will be a similar Halloween event based on a selection of seven major horror titles now on RCA VideoDisc. New releases for this event include "Carrie", "Rosemary's Baby" and an "American Werewolf in London."

A third theme promotion is scheduled for November with 13 comedy discs offered as part of a rebate and coupon retail merchandising activity.

Mr. Kuhn also noted the beginning of a special RCA magazine advertising campaign with "an upbeat, winning personality" that stresses the consumer's home life can be more entertaining with the RCA VideoDisc system. The second half campaign will include 34 insertions in 10 national magazines.

RCA has significantly expanded its catalog of VideoDisc programs to 295 titles, with more than 400 "CED" titles from RCA and other brands to be available by the end of the year. Mr. Kuhn noted that RCA's original catalog one year ago consisted of only 100 titles.


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