Innovative publisher adds DVD to gift cards

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on January 11, 2008

It may not be a new idea, but it's one that's worth revisiting in light of the current global trend toward multimedia advertising techniques: In the US a digital publisher called Serious produced an interactive, DVD-based, mag-stripe encoded gift card last year for Disney's 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End' film.

With the increasing popularity among consumers of gift cards, marketers are constantly looking for new ways to differentiate their prepaid card offerings, and the interactive DVD format may well become one of the favoured mechanisms for doing exactly that. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the gift card marketing in the US alone was worth some US$76 billion in 2006.

Technological leap
Serious saw an opportunity to take the leap from the existing CD or DVD business card format into the world of plastic gift cards by adding a scratch-to-reveal PIN number, a unique card number, a barcode, and a magnetic stripe to the front of the card. In the case of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie gift card, the DVD portion of the card included a great deal of licensed Disney content from the film.

Not only do the cards store the prepaid currency total but they also carry interactive content that will play on standard DVD players, computers, various gaming consoles. In the case of a retailer-based gift card programme, the cards can promote any relevant merchandise and special offers for redemption with the card, and even drive online purchases via embedded hyperlinks (where the computer or console is internet-enabled).

How the card works
The prepaid payment card data is held on the top (printed) side of the card, while the DVD section of the card (on the scratch-resistant back) can carry up to 180Mb of data, software, music, movie clips, and other interactive content.

However, only Serious is currently able to provide this style of interactive DVD card because the special seating device that allows the card to function in a standard DVD tray is heavily protected by company patents.

Early in 2007, the company raised US$14 million in a round of venture capital financing led by Greenhill SAVP and North Hill Ventures. The company also secured licenses from the NFL, NBA and several European football clubs to create collectible CD and DVD trading cards.

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