MALLIE, Kan. -- Lark Foods is using a big radio advertising campaign to boost membership for its new video rental departments.
The retailer is promoting the MCA/Universal Home Video release "Cop and a Half" with a coloring book giveaway supported by a heavy radio advertising buy, said David Lowe, general merchandise and health and beauty care sales manager for Fleming Cos.' Johnson City division, Johnson City, Tenn.
The six-store operator put in video about two months ago, and this is its first major video promotion, said Lowe, who coordinates the rental program for Lark and its supplier, Selectrak Family Video, Hillside, Ill. Lark operates stores under the Val U Save and Sloane's Pic Pac banners.
The weeklong promotion involves 98 30-second radio spots on three stations, he said. This is an extremely heavy schedule for retailers in that area, and the largest radio ad buy ever for Lark, he said.
"We've never tied in to radio this extensively, and we're expecting a great response from our customers," said Gwen Christon, manager of the Sloane's Pic Pac store in Isom, Ky.
"Selectrak spent more money on this than anything I've ever done," said Lowe.
In addition to the radio spots, disk jockeys will call store video personnel to ask about the top 10 releases for the week, said Lowe. There also will be a trivia contest, with a "Cop and a Half" T-shirt and backpack as a prize.
Any customer who rents a movie during the week will receive the "Your Friend the Police Officer" coloring book and crayon set, he said. Each store was given 125 copies of the book.
Because this will boost interest in the entire video program, the retailer increased its purchases of new releases by about 25% in anticipation of the promotion, he said.
"We have increased the number of all new releases to make sure we can satisfy all the customers' rental requests. We want to make sure that we don't miss any rentals," said Lowe.
"When the program is over, I think we will have increased our video membership and weekly rentals while making consumers more aware that we have video rentals in the stores," he said.
"It also will build grocery business. Consumers will be able to get their groceries and rent videos at the same time," he said.