Blu-ray gets $1.6m U.K. TV marketing push

Five Hollywood studios unite to bolster campaign

LONDON -- Five Hollywood studios are uniting to bolster a £1 million ($1.6 million) campaign launched by the British Video Association aiming to boost the Blu-ray format ahead of this year's holiday season.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures (UK), Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment U.K. and Warner Home Video are all backing the push.

Backed to the tune of £1 million, the BVA's self-styled "benefits of Blu-ray" boost will push customers towards the planned release of several top titles on Blu-ray this Christmas.

The titles inevitably include "Terminator Salvation" from Sony, "Ice Age 3" from Fox, "Inglourious Basterds" from Universal, "Snow White Platinum Edition" from Disney and "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" from Warners.

The BVA is claiming the campaign -- spearheaded by TV advertising spots across all major television channels here from November and throughout December reaching 40 million viewers at least once -- will be underpinned by "strategic public relations activity".

The aim is to explain the possibilities of the technology and converting consumer awareness into understanding and desire, the BVA said. And sell a lot of copies of the discs.

The campaign will focus on three key consumer groups -- High Definition-ready TV owners who are yet to make the most of their technology, satellite HDTV subscribers, and Playstation 3 users who are not using the Blu-ray capabilities of their console.

BVA director general Lavinia Carey heralds Blu-ray as being the best way to enjoy films at home. "Our goal is to boost understanding of the benefits of Blu-ray in the run up to Christmas, really hitting the message home that Blu-ray is the format of the future," Carey said.