Duracell is announcing its first nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries for camcorders. The batteries will be available in four sizes and will ship this quarter.
According to Duracell, the nickel-metal hydride batteries will last up to 50% longer than ordinary nickel cadmium batteries and do not have the memory effect commonly found with that technology.
A Duracell spokesperson said the new batteries will be a premium-priced line. The nickel-metal hydride rechargeables will be available in four sizes, model numbers DR10AA, DR11AA, DR12AA and DR13AA, to fit more than 80% of all compact camcorders sold on the market today. Duracell is offering a suggested retail price range of $39 to $49 for the DR10AA and $79 to $89 for the other three batteries.
"The new line should be priced to provide retailers with high margins and fast returns as well as spur additional sales from consumers who are unfamiliar with camcorder batteries in general but are very familiar with the Duracell brand," said Rick Anderson, product manager of rechargeables.
Duracell claims that during typical use the new batteries will last up to 50% longer than ordinary nickel cadmium rechargeables. However, the company adds a caveat that the performance will vary by model and camcorder usage such as zooming and special effects.
According to Duracell, the new model DR11AA will run an average camcorder for about three to three-and-a-half hours.
The batteries are expected to be shipped initially to consumer electronic outlets, mass merchant chains and photographic stores. Each battery will be individually packaged in a see-through clamshell in Duracell's signature copper-and-black graphics.
Duracell will provide cross-reference guides to retail outlets so consumers will be able to select the correct battery for their camcorder. The company will also support its new rechargeable line with merchandising, POP and promotional programs.
The largest promotion is a National Football League (NFL) tie-in and sweepstakes in which consumers who buy a DR11AA, DR12AA or DR13AA Duracell rechargeable battery can receive a free NFL Quarterback Club autographed football (worth $34) by mail. The football will feature the signature of John Elway, Dan Marino, Steve Young or Troy Aikman.
Customers can also enter to win an all-expense paid trip for four to the 1997 Super Bowl in New Orleans.
The POP programs will be supported by a national Duracell advertising campaign in consumer magazines. Co-op funds will be available to retailers to support store advertising and display efforts.
The company will also provide educational brochures for sales clerk training and consumer brochures describing the new battery line.
Finally, on an environmental note, all the new batteries are part of the Duracell Rechargeable Battery Reclamation Program, which has been established for the proper reclamation of used batteries.◊
[caption](photo omitted)Duracell's nickel metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries for camcorders will be available in four sizes.
"The new line should be priced to provide retailers
with high margins and