With DVD teetering on the critical line between early adoption and mass-market acceptance, the 2000 holiday season was a crucial period to educate consumers on the benefits of DVD and position it as the hottest gift for the holidays.  


Douglas ··Cohn & Wolfe (DCW) was charged by the DVD Entertainment Group (DEG) – the home video industry’s promotional trade association – to cut through the clutter of exciting new products on the market to position DVD as the must-have gift for the holidays.


DCW’s key objective was to provide a complete and concise source of information for reporters to use as a tool for writing stories about DVD during the holidays, encouraging shoppers to buy DVDs and in turn, boost DVD sales.  DCW set out to create a press packet that would make it as easy as possible for reporters to do a holiday story on DVD.  

To achieve this objective, the following strategies were utilized:

  • Capitalize on DEG’s industry-wide cooperation to provide a unified, non-branded message about the format’s exciting features
  • Provide consumer media information about the variety of exciting DVD titles and hardware available for the holidays
  • Encourage the understanding and purchase of DVD products


To ensure that DVD would make the holiday wish lists of consumer columnists and reviewers, DCW worked with the DEG members to create a complete package of information so that reporters nationwide would have all of the tools needed to write a comprehensive story about DVD.

Pitch Letter: A pitch letter was developed to highlight the growing acceptance of DVD and its role in driving the home theater market.

CD-ROM: DCW worked with the DEG studio members to compile press releases and art for 75 of the season’s hottest DVD titles which were included on the CD-ROM and sorted both alphabetically and by genre.

The CD-ROM also worked with the DEG consumer electronics manufacturers to include detailed information about hardware available from each of the consumer electronics members.

Lastly, the CD-ROM included a “DVDetails” section with basic facts about DVD hardware and software, including consumer data, sales figures and growth trends.

B-Roll: DCW created a b-roll package of clips provided by studios of their top newly released DVD titles for electronic media.

Follow-up Hardware Fax: While the CD-ROM and B-Roll were mailed to consumer media nationwide, a follow-up fax was distributed two weeks later reminding media about DVD as an ideal gift, as well as highlighting the many new features available on DVD players for the holidays.  The fax was also an effective tool as a “tickler” reminder. 

Morning Show Gift Boxes: DCW worked with the DEG studio members to create gift boxes for top market morning shows across the country.  Each studio was invited to provide their titles which in turn were incorporated into a decorated gift box bursting with the latest titles.  These gift boxes were displayed on morning shows in many of the top 20 markets along with key message points about DVD hardware and software.


DVD Entertainment Group members were thrilled with the excitement generated by the group’s holiday package, and media often noted during DCW’s follow-up conversations how helpful it was for them to have such a breadth of information in one package.  The press package received tremendous coverage among consumer print publications such as the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, US Weekly, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Gannett News Service and Knight-Ridder News Service, accounting for more than 100 million media impressions and an ad equivalency of $1.8 million.  

The morning show gift boxes also received extensive coverage in major markets, including placement on KTLA Morning Show and KABC Morning News in Los Angeles, ABC Morning News in Chicago, Fox Morning News in Philadelphia, Good Day Atlanta (Fox) and Today in New England (NBC) in Boston.  
According to research done by the Consumer Electronics Association, DVD was the “most desired” consumer electronic gift during the holiday season.  During December 2000 alone, a record 3.5 million DVD players were shipped to retail for holiday sales – nearly the same amount purchased for the full year 1999.  While the consumer electronics industry in general felt the sting of low holiday sales at retail, DVD reportedly saved many retailers with higher than anticipated sales.