Haven’t heard about DVD yet? You will.

Warner Home Video and Toshiba America Consumer Products have linked advertising budgets to create a $30 million marketing war chest to spread the gospel of DVD, just as the new homevid technology faces its first holiday shopping rush — and its first chance to prove itself in the home electronics marketplace.

The marketing campaign will splash ads onto national TV and print outlets beginning in late October, and continuing through the holiday shopping season and into early 1998.

The companies said the ads will tout DVD’s superiority over videotape in image and sound reproduction for home viewing of feature-length movies.

“We’re trying to capitalize on the key holiday selling season and to make sure that consumers are aware of the advantages of the DVD format,” said Tom Lesinski, senior VP of marketing for Warner Home Video. “We felt it was important for Warner Home Video and Toshiba to step up to the plate and push DVD in the fourth quarter, and position DVD as the best way to watch movies at home.”

Two-page ad spreads will appear in national magazines. Ads will also appear in newspapers in major markets, and in other local papers under co-op efforts with large electronics and software retailers.

The marketing campaign will include special consumer savings promotions for Warner Home Vid DVD titles and Toshiba DVD players, as well as point-of-purchase merchandising materials for retail outlets.

Warner has already released more than 100 movies on DVD, with another 100 expected by year’s end. The company’s upcoming DVD titles include “Selena,” “Contact,” “Addicted to Love,” “Father’s Day,” “Conspiracy Theory” and “Batman & Robin.”

Warner DVDs now carry a suggested retail price of $24.98. Consumer electronics giant Toshiba manufactures DVD players ranging from $599 to $799.

“The consumer response to DVD has been outstanding, and together with Warner Home Video, we will build on that momentum,” said Steve Nickerson, veepee of marketing for Toshiba America.

The large storage capacity of the discs also allows inclusion of extra content beyond the movie itself, including director’s commentary and biographical data about cast members.

Toshiba is a major shareholder in Warner homevid parent Time Warner.

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