Sony Sends in the Big Guns to Get Aussies to Buy New DVDs


The Muscles from Brussels is heading down under. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is commissioning Jean-Claude Van Damme to do the dirty work of getting Australians to clean out their old DVD collections and buy new movies. The tagline: “Send in your DVDs, or we send in Van Damme.”

Sony’s Great DVD Amnesty urges Australians to raise the white flag, offering $5 cash back to the first 200,000 claimants when they buy selected new DVDs and send in their unwanted ones. The campaign features TV and web spots with Van Damme kicking ass over “crybaby movies” and other DVDs Australians ought to be ashamed to own.[more]

The campaign also features a strong social media element that is accessed through the website. You can send friends a Van Damme-A-Gram by signing into Facebook, letting them know that their DVD collection sucks and they really ought to do something about it. Once “reported,” your friends’ Facebook pictures show up on a Wall of Shame. Hey, no one said war was pretty.

The spots fire up the funny, with Van Damme (in perhaps his best acting in years) staying deadpan throughout, even as he tries to stuff a bazooka into a too-small bag filled with an arsenal of other weapons in preparation for his mission of getting Australians to “come clean,” and repeating his signature “trust me” line. You have to wonder if making fun of the conventions of action movies is a good way to get people to buy new movies, but the spots certainly are entertaining.

If only we all had our own martial-arts superstar to send in when spring cleaning is way overdue.