Sony, Apple and Walt Disney Pictures are among a group of companies seeking an agency to work on the launch of Blu-ray Disc technology in the UK, one of two rival systems to replace DVDs.
The group – known as the Blu-ray Disc Association – is looking for a below-the-line agency to work on direct marketing and digital activities, and it is understood that it has already approached a number of agencies. Agency intermediary The Haystack Group is believed to be handling the pitch.
The group is led by Sony, and also includes technology firms like Apple and Hollywood studios such as Twentieth Century Fox and Walt Disney Pictures.
It is engaged in a critical battle to become the format of choice for the next generation of DVD users. It is going head-to-head with a rival format known as HD DVD, in a consumer technology standoff reminiscent of the battle of the videotape formats between VHS and Betamax in the 1980s. Sony’s Betamax ultimately lost out on that occasion.
Toshiba, Microsoft and Universal Studios support HD DVD. Although it cannot store as much content, it is cheaper to produce.
The first Blu-ray titles were released in the US last month, including Hitch, The Fifth Element and House of Flying Daggers. These came two months after the first HD DVD releases, which included The Last Samurai and Million Dollar Baby.