Sunday, July 1, 2007

Blockbuster - Mixed Messaging

On one hand, Blockbuster runs an extensive TV schedule promoting their advantage over NetFlix: don't wait for the mail, exchange your rentals at a Blockbuster retail location.

On the other hand, they announced on June 28 that they are closing 282 retail locations to concentrate on their online business. This is after shuttering 290 stores last year.

With 5000 stores nationwide, it's not that 600 or so Blockbuster outlets will be sorely missed. But some consumers prefer that a promise made in an ad is a corporate-wide initiative. If you promise convenience, show me how you are working to make it more convenient, not less convenient.

I vote this as "Get Real" marketing.

Sort of like a newspaper that promises more local coverage then lays off reporters, replacing local reporting with wire copy.

Or a cereal company that promises lower prices but replaces the existing packaging with a same-sized box that has less conent.

Sorry Blockbuster. The hassle of driving all over town looking for the movies we want is why NetFlix was so popular in the first place.

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