EduVerse Readies Test Campaign for CD-ROM Program

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EduVerse Accelerated Learning Systems Inc., Reno, NV, plans to launch a test campaign in April to market an English as a Second Language CD-ROM program, called English Pro, to Spanish-speaking people throughout the country. EduVenture Learning Corp. Vancouver, Canada, will market the program.


The test campaign will be produced in short-form spots in Southern Florida, Texas and Southern California on Spanish channels. The product also will be featured on at least one Spanish shopping network. Marc Bruk, president/ CEO of Eduverse, declined to comment on which shopping network would carry the product, but said English Pro will be featured in a one-hour show twice a day. The test is expected to last six weeks.


"We have had all kinds of estimates on sales," said Tim Bramwell, president of EduVenture. "During the test we expect thousands of units to be sold."


The final decision to roll out an infomercial has not been made yet.


"We will make a decision on the final format of the program based on the results of the test," said Bruk.


Still, he conceded it is likely that the company will launch a long-form campaign once the test phase is completed.


"The product lends itself to an infomercial because it does lend itself to a demonstration," he said.


"We will walk before we run. We would not scale it back until the numbers declined, and if that happens we would rework the show, and then if the numbers still don't come back, we would scale down to a short spot. But we don't see that happening for a year or two."


The company expects the test period to increase awareness and sales of the product, which is available in retail.


"I would think we would be looking at a one-quarter to one-half sales rate from the ads and maybe get a couple of points from the shopping network," Bruk said. "Although we do have the product available in retail, we expect sales to be affected. But there will be no direct link between the television campaign and the retail operation."


So far there is no celebrity endorsement for English Pro, but Bruk said the possibility has not been ruled out.


"We have one that has expressed interest, but nothing is definite yet," he said. "That would make the campaign a whole lot easier."


English Pro is designed to build vocabulary through a record and playback system in the computer using an on-screen keyboard that has the phonetic sounds on the keys. The process of learning English is done in stages, with students first learning how to pronounce words, then forming sentences and later paragraphs. The entire course is 120 hours.


"The advantage in this process, called mental mapping, is that it uses three senses to help learn the language," said Tim Bramwell, president of EduVenture. "What we have found is that when people go to speak a sound and then can see the sound they made compared to the proper way it is pronounced, they will remember what it looks like, and will eventually match the pattern."


Bramwell said DRTV was used to market the ESL program because it was an ideal method of reaching a target audience. The campaign will be bilingual. Spanish will be used to explain the technical aspects, such as mental mapping, but English will also be used.


"Latinos who want to speak English have a basic grasp of the language," he said. "All Spanish marketing is not as effective as the bilingual approach."


EduVerse will be responsible for the media buying and fulfillment, while EduVenture will produce the DRTV campaign. Bramwell said he has narrowed his selection of teleservices companies down to two, but would not reveal them.
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