Nomadland

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 4/27/21;
20th Century;
Drama;
Box Office $2.14 million;
$29.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for some full nudity.
Stars Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Bob Wells, Linda May, Charlene Swankie, Tay Strathairn.

Director Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland gives audiences a gorgeous tour of the American West through the stark lens of the so-called “nomad” movement that popped up after the “Great Recession” of 2008.

The trend involves predominantly older individuals who, after their companies shut down, took to a minimalist, transient lifestyle, driving from city to city in vans and RVs in search of seasonal work to get by.

The film is based on journalist Jessica Bruder’s 2017 nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, which was optioned by Frances McDormand, who both co-produces and stars in the film. After being brought on board to direct, Zhao also wrote the screenplay and edited the film, in addition to serving as one of the co-producers as well.

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McDormand plays Fern, who has been living in a van since the US Gypsum plant in Empire, Nevada, closed in 2011 and the town was largely abandoned. She takes a variety of seasonal jobs, including at an Amazon fulfillment center, and begins to learn about the nomad lifestyle, which she refers to as being “houseless” but not homeless. The film plays almost like a documentary, with Fern as the focal point to bring the audience on the journey. Many of the people Fern encounters in the film are actual nomads, playing fictionalized versions of themselves, who were chronicled in Bruder’s book. Among them is Bob Wells, who acts as sort of the guru of the nomads and leads sermons on the lifestyle where he conveys his economic philosophies while people learn tips on how to survive on the road and keep their vehicles in working order. Through it all, the nomads are often compared to the pioneers of old. The film’s wisftul presentation of the vast landscapes they visit aptly demonstrates why the life might appeal to those engaged in it.

The film isn’t political or preachy, instead presenting the people and their lives as it finds them, and letting viewers come to their own conclusions. Some live the life out of necessity, with nowhere else to turn. Others live it by choice, not wanting to be bogged down by the rote requirements of suburban life. McDormand gives a quiet, unflinching performance as one of the latter, treating the natural wonders of America’s great outdoors as her playground, even when the harsh realities of her circumstances catch up to her.

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The film’s critical success comes at a fortuitous time for Zhao, whose next project is Marvel Studios’ big-budget Eternals, which is already in the can and slated for theaters Nov. 25.

The Nomadland Blu-ray includes a few modest but insightful extras. The 13-and-a-half-minute featurette “The Forgotten America” offers a general making of the film with several interviews with the cast and filmmakers, including Bruder. There’s also 15 minutes of footage from a Q&A with Zhao, McDormand and some of the nomads at the film’s drive-in premiere held Sept. 11, 2020, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., staged as a pop-up adjunct of the canceled Telluride Film Festival.

Finally, there are two deleted scenes totaling three minutes.

 

Power Marketing 2020: Home Entertainment’s Top Campaigns and the People Behind Them

Welcome to Media Play News’ second annual Power Marketing special report. Once again, we are profiling the campaigns behind some of the year’s top-selling disc and digital home releases — and the marketing executives and teams that made them happen.

See photos of the top marketing campaigns here.

The main feature and profiles can also be found here in the digital edition of our latest issue:

The following list also includes more Power Campaign profiles we couldn’t fit in our print issue:

The Power Campaigns

Avengers: Endgame — Disney Media Distribution

Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, the climactic conclusion to an 11-year cinematic journey, became the fastest-selling digital title in history in large part due to the efforts of the Disney in-home marketing team. Avengers: Endgame has also sold the second-highest number of digital units in home entertainment history.

Disney reports that preorders for Avengers: Endgame “were off the charts” leading up to its July 2019 digital release and August physical street dates after the in-home team kicked off an aggressive pre-sell marketing push with significant paid media and retail support just weeks after the film’s theatrical release. Leading up to launch, Disney had a robust presence at San Diego Comic-Con International with an in-home trailer debut, talent signings, press interviews and the IMDb Boat fan stunt to announce to fans the “We Love You 3000 Tour.”

The successful tour served as a thank you celebration to the fans and incorporated retail, talent and filmmaker participation. Fans lined up days in advance for the tour, which made stops in nine cities — Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Minneapolis and Cleveland — resulting in 75 million impressions and 5 million active social engagements.

The media in-home team leveraged excitement around the film and created a three-day countdown with roadblocks across broadcast networks, live sports (NFL and MLB) and digital media to drive digital and physical sales.

Digital in-home marketing also partnered with celebrity dads on YouTube and Instagram to create the ultimate Avengers: Endgame movie night for kids. The campaign also collaborated with one of The Overwatch League’s top e-sports teams, the San Francisco Shock, on a one-month branded takeover that included banners on players‘ Twitch live-streams, branded game-day banners, custom themed videos and social media header takeovers.

Jumanji: The Next Level — Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

With more than $796 million in global box office earnings and predecessor Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle having broken box office and home entertainment records, the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment marketing team, led by Lexine Wong, was challenged to once again find breakthrough strategies to over-perform in a competitive post-holiday landscape.

After evaluating early social listening and data analytics, the team set to work creating all-new creative content inspired by fan chatter. A mock tourism ad, amplified on social media by cast members including Nick Jonas, Karen Gillan, Danny Glover and Ser’Darius Blain, invited consumers to journey to Jumanji, kicking off the home entertainment campaign.

As the release date neared, characters portrayed by Karen Gillan and Jack Black inspired shareable digital content — a mock trailer titled “Ruby Roundhouse: Killer of Men” and a standout Shelly Oberon/Jack Black music mash-up. The three videos generated 1.7 million views collectively, and inspired passionate fan reaction. Viewers on YouTube compared Ruby Roundhouse to their favorite comic book heroines, while users on TikTok were inspired to create their own videos using the mash-up video’s soundtrack.

To drive excitement for the product and incentivize purchase, Sony Pictures created an interactive augmented reality experience utilizing a map of Jumanji that was included in DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD products. The AR activation provided consumers with up to 10 minutes of all-new gameplay — the most extensive AR execution ever seen in a home entertainment release. Working with Walmart and two promotional partners, the team created an unprecedented, interactive, store-wide program, anchored by this custom AR experience, accessible via QR code on multiple touchpoints in and out-of-category. The initiative was supported by a marketing and influencer program that generated more than 800 million impressions.

Industry firsts also extended to the paid media campaign, which included the first-ever WWE game night integration for a film property, entailing custom content with WWE talent. Meanwhile, the publicity team took press and influencers on a Jumanji adventure inspired by the memorable ostrich chase scene from the film. Participants traveled to Solvang, Calif., alongside stars Madison Iseman, Morgan Turner and Rhys Darby to tour Ostrich Land USA, race dune buggies on Pismo Beach and take part in a truly unique press junket experience.

The reach of the campaign was amplified heavily by the massive social footprint of the cast, including Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, who both supported efforts throughout. Johnson and Hart’s social channels alone contributed to nearly 3 million views of branded content promoting the release. The film raced to the top of the charts, overperforming and exceeding sales expectations.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World — Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

For the 2019 home entertainment release of How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Universal’s global marketing team piloted a multi-dimensional campaign that ignited awareness around the world and helped lead to the film’s standout success across digital and physical formats. Traditional promotional tactics were augmented by marketing innovations spanning bonus content, publicity, social media, retail and other high-profile partnerships.

On the content front, Universal struck a global partnership with famed wildlife YouTube personality and host of “Brave Wilderness” Coyote Peterson to create exclusive film-themed bonus content that was leveraged across all formats as well as via the vastly popular channel. Separately, special custom-animated pieces with voice actor Kit Harington (Eret) were produced to further drive excitement for the release.

The publicity team assembled a global press event in Flåm, Norway, highlighting notable themes and locations from within the film. Accompanied by the movie’s lead voice actor, Jay Baruchel, and writer-director Dean DeBlois, Universal invited journalists and influencers around the world to travel to and experience the Hidden World, resulting in comprehensive press and social media coverage that generated millions of impressions for the home entertainment release. Additionally, the film was showcased at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France, with a special screening and fan/press Q&A with DeBlois.

Universal also collaborated with Deviant Art, the world’s largest online social community for artists and art enthusiasts, to launch a global custom art contest for fans of the franchise joined by the filmmakers, which ultimately generated more than 60 million impressions.

A special collaboration with Facebook Messenger extended a theatrically launched augmented-reality game into the home entertainment window. Accessed through an in-package insert, consumers were able to unlock new exclusive dragons. Universal further built upon the highly engaged AR experience by partnering with Walmart for an exclusive in-store AR experience to let the dragon fly. The release was also the first animated title to ever take over Amazon’s 4K store. In another digital first, the title was the first-ever movie title to receive placement on the games page of Google Play.

Finally, the campaign was supported by expansive national promotional partnerships with Popeye’s and Dippin’ Dots.

Friends — Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (TV)

With a year-long, multi-phase marketing and publicity campaign, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) elevated sales of the popular sitcom “Friends” to new heights. The series remains the top-selling series across the entire home entertainment industry.

Beginning in July 2019, WBHE leveraged the series’ announced exit from Netflix, coupled with Warner Bros. Television’s global outreach, to drive new home entertainment distribution and promotions for the hit series in three key windows: Friends Week (July 30 – Aug. 4); Series Premiere 25th Anniversary (Sept. 22); and Friendsgiving/Q4 holiday (November/December).

Continuous retail promotions, timed with strategic beats, propelled strong consumer purchases across both digital and physical SKUs. The series ended 2019 as the top-selling off-air series in the home entertainment industry.

Following the series’ SVOD exit in January 2020, WBHE accelerated marketing efforts with an extensive integrated media campaign designed to drive awareness of sole transactional ownership availability via:

  • Heavily-trafficked “Friends” and WBHE social channels (more than 36 million reach) to connect directly with avid fans, highlighting specific retail purchase opportunities and leveraging fan-engagement opportunities;
  • Promotional partnerships with brands and networks including a WB-prizing sweepstakes promotion on TBS geared to core fans during TV Sweeps Month (May 2019) and crossover partnerships with consumer brands such as demographically-appealing Jones Soda, among others;
  • A comprehensive publicity campaign that has garnered more than 81 million impressions to date; and
  • A digital and linear advertising campaign beginning in February and continuing through the second quarter.

Marketing initiatives also featured the global refreshing of both digital and physical key art packaging for all 10 seasons, repackaging the “Friends” complete-series boxed set on Blu-ray and DVD, and the launch of two new digital compilations, “The One with the Guest Stars” Vol. 1 & 2. WBHE Japan and WBHE France also launched newly repackaged complete-series disc sets to great success.

John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum — Lionsgate

To promote the release of John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the Lionsgate home entertainment marketing team mounted an aggressive 360-degree campaign aimed at activating core audiences for the “John Wick” franchise, motivating consumers to engage in a piece of the “John Wick” world, and driving physical and digital sales of the latest film, which earned more than $171 million at the domestic box office. The team executed this campaign through three phases: a media blitz, strategic tactics to engage audiences through unique creative and fan-focused activations, and saturating the marketplace with high-volume media and extensive retail placements to drive sales.

To keep the franchise at the top of consumer minds through the lifecycle windows and to promote the home release of John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, Lionsgate marketers executed a 12-stop cross-country road show in partnership with Best Buy stores and NASCAR. The road show featured John Wick’s classic Mustang, his motorcycle from the latest film, and props from all three movies. Consumers got up close and immersed themselves in the world of “Wick” through a photo op and branded premium items. Lionsgate gathered consumer data in order to retarget them for future “Wick” content.

Then, when John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum was readied for retail release, the Lionsgate team created exclusive editions for key retailers — four Steelbooks for Target, Best Buy (the new release plus a triple feature with all three films in the franchise) and Walmart; two mini-Steelbooks for digital release at Best Buy and Game Stop; and exclusive gifts-with-purchase for Walmart (JW3 with a black Adjudicator coin; the triple-feature with a Sophia Oath marker).

Lionsgate marketers also created a unique home entertainment trailer and exclusive TV spots that won them five Clio Entertainment Awards.

Lionsgate engaged Reddit users through a competition to caption stills from the film with what the infamous dogs were thinking. Top up-voted posts received silver, gold and platinum coins. Lionsgate also communicated with fans through a franchise text program, giving them access to content before it was released; drove deep into the world of “Wick” on social media by tapping into fan-favorite moments; created a four-part “in world” Web series, called “Truth Serum,” to engage fans; and launched a John Wick Hex game integration.

The publicity team, meanwhile, tapped director Chad Stahelski and co-stars Lance Reddick and Marc Dacascos to support the release through interviews and a themed press day leading to custom content. Remaining talent supported the release on social media with custom-made graphics.

Rocketman — Paramount Home Entertainment

Befitting the film’s larger-than-life subject, Paramount executed a multi-faceted marketing campaign for the epic musical celebration Rocketman. The team embraced the movie’s fantastical take on Elton John’s extraordinary life with a wide range of creative activities targeting cinephiles, music enthusiasts, the LGBTQ community, Elton John fans and general audiences.

A highly collectible release with extensive bonus content was augmented with multiple retail exclusives and in-store promotions. Capitalizing on Elton John’s enthusiasm for the film, Paramount’s marketing team enlisted the legendary performer to write a special message included in a booklet with the 4K and Blu-ray Combo Packs, and also heavily cross-promoted the film during John’s farewell concert tour and memoir release. In addition, a media campaign incorporating television, radio, print and digital advertising included targeted promotions such as a “Live Like a Rockstar” television sweepstakes and a month-long promotion with the Hard Rock Café, Hotel & Casino.

Digital activations included Rocketman-inspired influencer art, a piano app cross-promotion, virtual costume tours, and multiple debuts of exclusive footage from the bonus content.

The campaign culminated with two major events that generated widespread domestic and international publicity: a Rocketman-themed night at Dodger Stadium commemorating John’s historic concert there in 1975 featuring appearances by lyricist Bernie Taupin and actor Jamie Bell (who portrayed Taupin in the film), and a global press event and junket in London with director Dexter Fletcher, music producer Giles Martin, and costumer designer Julian Day.

The team’s combined efforts resulted in Rocketman blasting off on home entertainment platforms and becoming one of the most talked-about films of the year.

The Wizard of Oz 4K Ultra HD — Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

To celebrate the 80th anniversary year and the brand-new 4K UHD remaster and release of the iconic film The Wizard of Oz, Jessica Schell and her Warner Bros. Home Entertainment team conducted a press day at Warner Bros.’ Motion Picture Imaging (MPI) to highlight the technology that went into remastering the beloved classic.

Media outlets, bloggers and social media influencers were invited to the WB lot to tour MPI’s facilities and interview key players in the process, including colorist Janet Wilson, who has overseen every remaster of the film for the past 20 years. Using state-of-the-art technology, a new 8K 16bit scan of the original Technicolor camera negative became the basis for the 4K UHD scan, and guests were shown side-by-side comparisons of the new version of the film along with scenes from the original theatrical print and previous home entertainment versions. Other stops on the tour included the rarely-seen cold storage vault and negative scanning room. Guests were also able to take a picture with an original Technicolor three-strip camera from 1932 that was loaned to WB for the event.

The release campaign for the 80th anniversary-year of The Wizard of Oz kicked off in January with exclusive Fathom screenings across the country. Additionally, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment partnered with WB’s theatrical exhibition team and Dolby to create a new Dolby Vison remaster of the film for a week-long theatrical engagement timed to the film’s October home entertainment release, which included a special screening for press, bloggers and social media influencers.

Other campaign activities included a photo “selfie” tour featuring an eight-foot Ruby Slipper that visited high-visibility locations including Madame Tussauds in Hollywood, LA Live for a Los Angeles Lakers game, and the popular West Hollywood Halloween Carnival; a free Web-based augmented reality experience triggered by consumer assets such as product packaging and the home entertainment trailer; a Google partnership that displayed unique graphics and sounds triggered by searching “Wizard of Oz”; and support from Turner Classic Movies (TCM), which aired the documentary The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic and provided digital and social media support.

Ford v Ferrari — Disney Media Distribution

The in-home marketing team for 20th Century Studios’ Ford v Ferrari set their sights on dynamic pre-sell tactics and a launch campaign targeting males 25 and up as well as racing enthusiasts. The film wound up raking in digital and physical sales nearly 50% above its initial goal.

The key ingredient to the campaign’s success was engaging and connecting with the core racing community by creating fan experiences nationwide, kicking off “The Perfect Lap Tour” at Daytona Motor Speedway with “pit” stops in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago and Las Vegas. The tour engaged racing’s passionate fanbase by featuring meet-and-greets with the film’s stunt drivers, showcasing the real cars used during production and offering a pit crew experience. Using car enthusiast influencers also resulted in better-than-expected social impressions, video views and engagements with consumers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

In-home marketing also timed media ahead of the Academy Awards to support Ford v Ferrari’s four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, by encouraging consumers to catch up on nominees with “Watch Before the Awards” spots. The team also ran media in live sports and late-night to target the core male demo. Additionally, digital marketing partnered with The Infatuation to create a thematic foodie program. Utilizing American versus Italian themes featured in the films, a custom video called “Delivery Showdown” movie night was created to determine which food delivery service could deliver the fastest.

Frozen II — Disney Media Distribution

Leading up to the in-home release of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen II, the highest-grossing animated film of all time at the box office, the Disney marketing team crafted a comprehensive campaign to bolster awareness and consumer engagement. Frozen II experienced a significant boost in preorders, using targeted paid media and retailer support, right out of the gate.

For the February launch, Disney in-home marketing executed a multifaceted approach creating a “Frozen Weekend” with themed content, kid and parent influencer activations, and paid and organic social media impressions. In addition, Disney secured innovative partnership programs enlisting top brands including Drybar, FIDM, GoNoodle, So Yummy and Sparkling Ice to reach key audiences. In collaboration with creative marketing, publicity rolled out five days of bonus content debuts with top consumer-facing print, online and broadcast outlets.

Disney in-home marketing was also able to strategically leverage the film’s timely Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for “Into the Unknown,” as well as Idina Menzel’s acclaimed performance of the breakout hit featuring all the Elsas from around the world, to drive additional in-home digital and physical sales.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

The campaign for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was the result of seven months of collaboration between multiple divisions of Sony Pictures Entertainment, including home entertainment marketing, theatrical marketing, awards specialists, television distribution and exhibitor relations. With the film’s remarkable pedigree and Oscar buzz, the Sony Pictures Home entertainment marketing team, led by Lexine Wong, was able to take advantage of key award season milestones to create breakthrough marketing moments for consumers.

The campaign began during the film’s theatrical release, when the home entertainment team worked closely with global television distribution to produce “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Quentin Tarantino Present the Swinging Sixties,” a series of conversations between the acclaimed director and film historian Kim Morgan, discussing 10 films from the Columbia Pictures library that inspired director Quentin Tarantino’s newest film. Content was distributed to Sony Pictures Television’s networks in more than 60 territories and other partners around the world to promote the theatrical release and highlight the studio’s catalog titles. Digital retailers supported this concept by launching their own movie weeks, highlighting the same films leading into the digital release of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

To appeal to film collectors and eventize the first-ever release of a Tarantino film in 4K, the team worked ahead to manufacture a limited collector’s edition that would be worthy of the movie’s rich pop culture sensibilities. Custom packaging celebrating the characters contained the 4K Ultra HD film and bonus discs, plus a seven-inch vinyl record with two of the soundtrack’s songs (complete with turntable adapter), a collectible vintage poster for the in-world film Operazione Dyn-o-mite! and an exclusive Mad Magazine parody of the main character Rick Dalton’s TV Series, “Bounty Law.” Other exclusive gift-with-purchase offerings helped secure premium retail placement at major retailers, including “Rick Dalton” movie poster cards available at Walmart, a vintage-style film magazine with never-before-seen production photos available at Target, and a collectible Steelbook at Best Buy.

The team announced details of the home entertainment release and the collector’s edition in tandem with an October theatrical re-release, which helped to heighten awareness of the title and tease additional scenes that would be available for home entertainment consumers.

With a December home release date set, the home entertainment marketing team worked in lock-step with the studio’s awards team, ensuring consistent positioning in creative materials and efficient marketing spends across paid media efforts and digital marketing initiatives. Publicity efforts benefited from increased editorial demand for awards season content and generated a total of more than 193 million estimated impressions across creative activations including an immersive press day (with a bus tour of key filming locations, one-on-one time with production talent, a look at the film’s iconic costumes and a high-adrenaline stunt demonstration), an in-world mailer inducting press into the Rick Dalton fan club, and a star-studded home entertainment release party at old-Hollywood staple Musso & Frank Grill. Digital marketing helped cement the title as a collector must-have by highlighting the various available configurations in unboxing videos with key influencers.

The long tail of awards season helped keep the film relevant and consistently top of mind for consumers far past the release date through extended media flights and editorial drafting. By capitalizing on awards season and launching innovative and exciting marketing tactics, the film exceeded sales expectations and was named Media Play News’ Title of the Year.

PHOTO GALLERY  OF THE TOP HOME ENTERTAINMENT MARKETING CAMPAIGNS

The Power Marketers

Jeff Brown, EVP and GM, Television, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
For more than 23 years, Jeff Brown has been an instrumental member of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) team. Brown’s team manages all digital and physical WarnerMedia television content, including WBTV, HBO, Turner and WB Animation, for both new-release and catalog on a global basis. The content lineup includes live-action TV series, non-theatrical family and animation programming, third-party partner relationships such as BBC, and development of original movies for the home entertainment market. In recent years, under Brown’s tenure, WBHE has achieved No. 1 TV distributor share; five years of television transactional share growth; the No. 1 made-for-video slate, including Media Play News’ top direct-to-video for 2019, Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; leadership in TV digital, with innovation in lifecycle pricing and promotion; implementation of new customer acquisition strategies and adherence to data-driven analytics; and leadership in “collection” offerings, including “Game of Thrones,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Friends” complete-series sets. Year to date, digital sellthrough catalog sales for WBTV are up more than 100% from what they were a year ago.

Brown has paced WB’s television digital efforts for high-profile series as well as for evergreen animation brands. Brown further expanded WB’s success with an unprecedented expansion into made-for-video content, particularly with the ever-successful DC Universe line — which currently has more than 45 animated movies and shorts, and counting!

Early in his career, Brown was an instrumental member of the Warner Bros. team that led the DVD/Blu-ray revolution. He was later based in London as Warner Bros.’ head of EMEA where he helped engineer the company’s adaptation of a global franchise marketing planning process, resulting in historic sales milestones. He then moved back to the United States and assumed responsibility of WBHE’s television business unit.

Before joining WBHE in 1996, Brown worked in marketing management for General Mills and Nestle, as well as operating as GM /owner of two successful entrepreneurial ventures.

 Hilary J. Hoffman, EVP, Global Marketing, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Hilary Hoffman oversees strategic marketing and business strategy for Universal Pictures and its distributed lines worldwide across new-release, catalog and TV properties for both physical and digital. Hoffman has consistently shown a knack for leveraging creativity, data and intuition to craft marketing plans for the home release of some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters and franchises. With an eye on maximizing revenue, she defines go-to-market consumer strategies and the overall approach for consumer engagement, both through traditional media and through new platforms and technologies. Hoffman and her team focus on the complete packaged-goods and digital product lifecycle.

David Kite, SVP, Distribution Marketing, Disney Media Distribution
Kite oversees global marketing for the in-home release of studio and TV content distributed by The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television. He is responsible for the global in-home release calendar of new-release and catalog titles across physical and digital retailers, overall creative product strategy, linear and digital marketing and customer relationship management that drive sales, ownership and consumption of the company’s content. This includes the creation and implementation of all creative marketing and bonus materials. With nearly 20 years of experience at The Walt Disney Company, Kite has held leading roles in digital marketing, product management and distribution strategy. He joined Disney in 2002 as executive producer of the studio’s Moviebeam video-on-demand service, which launched the following year.

Vincent Marçais, EVP, Worldwide Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
Marçais has served as EVP of worldwide marketing for Paramount Home Entertainment for just over two years, overseeing brand, creative, media, customer marketing, international marketing and consumer research for all of the studio’s home entertainment releases on physical and digital. He reports to Bob Buchi, president of Paramount Home Entertainment.

Marçais previously served as EVP of worldwide brand and customer marketing for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. In this role he oversaw the release campaigns for all transactional businesses (video-on-demand, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and Digital HD) and also managed joint consumer marketing efforts with digital retailers and U.S. and international operators. During his tenure Marçais was a key driver of the division’s transformation from a pure physical distribution company into a digital new media company. His marketing savvy helped spur sales to consumers of such films as The Martian, Joy, Brooklyn, and the “X-Men,” “Ice Age” and “Planet of the Apes” franchises.

Marçais began his career with French car manufacturer Citroën and joined Fox Video France in 1991, where he held numerous marketing and sales positions. From 2002 to 2006 he served as Fox’s VP of marketing for the European home entertainment operation. Marçais relocated to Los Angeles in 2006 to serve as SVP of international marketing for Fox and became EVP of worldwide brand and consumer marketing in 2012.

Amelia Rogers, SVP, Marketing, Home Entertainment and Digital Distribution, and Tom Gundred, SVP and Head of Worldwide Creative Marketing — Television, Home Entertainment and Digital Distribution, Lionsgate
Amelia McPartlon Rogers oversees overall marketing strategy, publicity, social media, research and paid media initiatives across all Lionsgate home entertainment and digital platforms. She leads her teams to develop a full 360-degree marketing strategy for the entire limited theatrical and multiplatform release slate; traditional 4K, Blu-ray Disc, DVD and digital releases of Lionsgate and Starz films and television programming; as well as the company’s third-party distribution companies.

Tom Gundred oversees worldwide creative marketing for Lionsgate’s television, home entertainment and digital distribution business. He directs the creative execution of the marketing strategy for limited theatrical and multiplatform release as well as the traditional 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc, DVD and digital releases of Lionsgate and Starz films and television programming. He and his team develop award-winning AV, print, digital and social media creative materials in support of properties such as the recently released ArkansasI Still Believe and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” In addition, he oversees and directs development of creative for sales and marketing materials for international and domestic markets such as MIPCOM and NATPE for Lionsgate’s international television sales team.

Jessica Schell, EVP and GM, Film, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Schell joined Warner Bros. in 2014 and has global responsibility for all operations related to the physical and digital sales, marketing, creative, distribution, finance and administrative functions of the studio’s film home entertainment releases, including new theatrical titles and catalog. Schell has been successful in combining traditional marketing strategies with her extensive background in digital marketing and new media to create cutting-edge campaigns for such titles as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, It, Ready Player One, Crazy Rich Asians, American Sniper and the “Lego” franchise, driving both digital and physical sales. Schell also identifies and engages new technology marketing opportunities and platforms for the studio’s home entertainment offerings, including virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.

Schell oversees the continued growth of WBHE’s Blu-ray Disc business, and also manages the growing market for 4K UHD Blu-ray titles, including the top-performing 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, The Matrix Trilogy and The Dark Knight Trilogy. She has been instrumental in the continued growth of the digital transaction business, including electronic sellthrough and VOD. During her tenure, Warner Bros. has been the No. 1 home entertainment theatrical studio with a 17% share, the No. 1 home entertainment theatrical catalog studio with a 20% share, and the No. 1 home entertainment physical 4K studio with a 22% share, with consumers spending more than $100 million in combined sellthrough and rental sales of WB 4K theatrical product.

Prior to joining Warner, Schell spent nine years at NBC Universal, most recently serving as EVP of worldwide new media and digital entertainment for Universal Pictures.

Lexine Wong, Senior EVP, Worldwide Marketing, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Wong leads Sony Pictures Television Distribution’s Global Home Entertainment marketing team and is charged with delivering breakthrough marketing campaigns across a wide range of product from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s studio labels and television series, with the goal of driving consumer engagement, transactions and viewership throughout the product’s lifecycle. Specific areas of oversight include consumer and brand strategy, creative advertising, media and digital, PR and strategic partnerships, content development and new product development for burgeoning business opportunities. Wong’s focus is on providing value and measurable impact for end consumers through entertaining, shareable and highly interactive experiences across all channels. Wong’s insights-driven marketing strategy is the foundation for product development and continued marketing innovation around new platforms critical for growth in the industry, such as Movies Anywhere, augmented reality, 4K UHD and other direct-to-consumer digital offerings.

With more than 25 years in advertising and consumer marketing, Wong began her career at Young & Rubicam before joining what would become Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, where she rose to EVP of worldwide marketing in 2001 and her present position in 2006. Under her direction, Wong’s team has been responsible for recent breakthrough marketing campaigns including Spider-Man: Far From Home, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Zombieland: Double Tap, Jumanji: The Next Level, Little Women, Bloodshot and Bad Boys for Life.

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The Power Teams

Lionsgate

Erin Carter, SVP, Integrated Marketing, focuses on partnerships, catalog marketing, research and retail marketing.

Kathy Arendain, VP, Creative — Digital, runs social media and digital creative teams.

Aaron Gershman, VP, Creative — Art, oversees key art development and print creative.

Shannon Parker, VP, Creative — AV, oversees trailers, media spots and AV creative development.

Tiffany Olivares, VP, Publicity and Digital Engagement, runs publicity campaigns for limited theatrical and multiplatform releases.

Hallie Prince, VP, Integrated Marketing, oversees marketing for third-party partners and multi-platform releases.

Paramount Home Entertainment

Michele Bell, SVP, Worldwide Creative Services, is responsible for all of the division’s creative advertising materials.

Brenda Ciccone, SVP, Worldwide Publicity & Communications, oversees all publicity and corporate communications for the division on a global basis.

Melinda Froelich, SVP, International Marketing, is responsible for international marketing, advertising, public relations, promotions and release strategy.

Hilarie Hildebrandt, SVP, Customer Marketing, focuses on executing consumer-focused programs with each retail client.

Dina Marovich, SVP, Worldwide Media & Interactive Marketing, oversees all media planning and buying for the division.

Rozita Tolouey, SVP, Brand Marketing, drives the division’s global marketing strategies for new releases and acquisitions.

Leda Chang, VP, Digital Marketing, drives interactive initiatives.

Jacqueline Gustafson, VP, Home Media Content, supervises bonus material strategies.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Jennifer Anderson, SVP, Marketing, is responsible for leading the strategic development and execution of brand marketing and creative for all SPHE new-release and catalog business. She oversees a cross-functional team including brand and product marketing, promotions and creative advertising.

Jane Mohon, SVP, Marketing Services, is responsible for data-driven consumer strategy overseeing digital and social media marketing, traditional and digital media planning and buying as well as publicity. She finds synergies across paid, owned and earned media by connecting the dots among consumer activation opportunities.

Joe Burg, VP, Content Development, leads a team of content producers in the ideation and production of original content spanning home entertainment and downstream distribution windows. Burg also serves as lead producer on new technology initiatives.

Gregg Shack, VP, Creative Advertising, guides the team’s creative strategy, developing key art, print and audio-visual assets for ad campaigns.

Jana Simmons, VP, TV & Customer Marketing, partners with the commercial teams and customers to develop marketing programs for all of SPHE’s transactional retail partners.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Pam Blum, SVP, UPHE Marketing, oversees creative marketing services and the development of value-added content for UPHE’s releases on a worldwide basis.

Lea Porteneuve, SVP, Global Publicity & Communications, oversees global business, technology and executive communications for UPHE, spearheading all strategic publicity initiatives in support of the studio’s digital and physical home entertainment offerings.

Jeff Ackermann, SVP, Global Brand Marketing, spearheads global strategic marketing, product development and management of new-release titles from Universal Pictures and the studio’s extensive catalog library.

Denise Haro, SVP, Global Consumer Insights & Strategy, oversees business insights, marketing data analytics, and UPHE’s consumer insights and research with a focus on aligning global commercial strategy around product, window, messaging and innovation.

Sandy Choi, SVP, Brand Marketing, North America Partnerships, manages the North American third-party partners, which include developing marketing campaigns for partner releases across both physical and digital platforms and leading the cross-functional team that oversees the overall management of partner relationships.

Stephanie Lutjens, VP, Global Brand Marketing, leads global strategic marketing, product development and management of family new-release, Focus Features, distribution partner eOne and TV, in addition to managing worldwide home entertainment promotions.

Joe Eibert, VP, Digital Marketing, leads digital marketing strategic planning and execution for UPHE releases.

Nadia Haney, VP, Global Marketing, Emerging Technology, is responsible for consumer-focused global strategic marketing for emerging formats.

Ted Chi, VP, Digital Marketing Strategy, is responsible for establishing and leading the strategy and execution of marketing for the Digital Distribution group.

Kelly Harrington, VP, Global Brand Marketing, Catalog, TV, 1440 Productions & Licensing, leads global strategic marketing and management of UPHE catalog releases, TV, Universal 1440 Productions originals, and commercial marketing for licensing.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Kristina Fugate, SVP, Marketing, Film, handles all theatrical new-release and catalog brand marketing efforts across disc and digital platforms, which also includes creative advertising, franchise lifecycle management and global strategy.

Chris Baldwin, SVP, Worldwide Promotions & Partnerships, oversees all global promotions and partnerships for WBHE, including new-release, catalog, TV, family and animation titles.

Jack Walker, SVP, Media & Digital Marketing, oversees all media and digital marketing for WBHE, including new-release, catalog, TV, family and animation, and games. Walker reports to Jessica Schell and Jeff Brown.

Emily Zalenski, SVP, Worldwide Publicity, Film, oversees worldwide publicity, events and experiential marketing efforts for new-release and catalog titles. She also manages corporate communications for WBHE.

Nicole Coleman, SVP, Trade Marketing and Sales Integration, oversees the theatrical catalog P&L for the home entertainment group across the physical and digital retail landscape, and also leads trade marketing and sales planning for both physical and digital film and television content.

Laura Lupinetti, VP, Film Trade Marketing, is responsible for driving go-to-market strategy for WBHE’s new-release and catalog businesses, curating content and price variability to maximize sales and placement across various retail windows.

Rosemary Markson, SVP, TV Marketing, leads global marketing for Warner Bros. and HBO TV content across all transactional platforms, with responsibility for strategy development, product management, consumer marketing and business planning for current on-air series and library/catalog content.

Mary Ellen Thomas, SVP, Originals, Animation & Family Marketing, oversees product development and marketing for animated and live-action originals, episodic animation, Turner, and portfolio brands (Peanuts, Dr. Seuss, Viz Media and WWE).

Melissa Hufjay, VP, Worldwide Publicity, Television, oversees worldwide publicity, events and Con presence for all television, family, animation and live-action/animated originals.

Zandra Palmer, VP, Trade Marketing, provides strategic direction to field sales and brand marketing teams in the development of effective retail programs across all distribution platforms in North America, both physical and digital, to achieve or exceed financial objectives.

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Digital Retailer Campaigns

Two retail campaigns also are being highlighted.

Redbox’s ongoing “Dinner & A Movie” campaign, which launched last summer, is taking on added relevancy in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic and governmental stay-at-home mandates.

The campaign is aimed at getting consumers to watch a movie from Redbox, either rented at a kiosk or streamed online, while enjoying a takeout meal at home. The ongoing campaign has included partnerships, promotions, social media and PR campaigns. The first promotion kicked off in June 2019 with DoorDash to give customers up to three free Redbox movie night rentals (at the Box or On Demand) when they sign up for DoorDash.

Last August, Redbox said its latest customer surveys found that 72% of Redbox customers paired their movie night with a full meal, and 50% grabbed a snack or treat during their film.

Ash ElDifrawi, chief marketing and customer experience officer of Redbox, told Media Play News last year something that rings especially true today: “Simple things, nostalgic things, like dinner and a movie, can really bring us together … It’s about purposefully carving out time for shared experiences.”

FandangoNow, the on-demand streaming service from Fandango, also has an ongoing campaign called “FandangoNow Flashbacks,” focusing on iconic movie anniversaries.

In partnership with studios, FandangoNow leverages its catalog of more than 100,000 titles to bring entertainment fans beloved catalog movies celebrating key cinematic anniversaries. The most successful campaign within the Flashbacks program was the 80th anniversary of the iconic “Batman” character. To generate excitement about this milestone for the superhero franchise, the FandangoNow CRM team distributed email communications to fans, featuring creative trivia questions and exclusive deals for fans.

Further demonstrating the success of the Flashbacks program, FandangoNow has found that fans rent or purchase other related titles within the Flashbacks program after watching the anniversary title.

The campaign is being driven by Loran Helin, senior merchandising director, and Rebecca Black, senior merchandising manager. They help oversee the sales and marketing relationships of several film and television studios, and create and execute promotional programs and marketing strategies that optimize revenue growth, customer acquisition and customer retention.

Kelly Campbell Promoted to President of Hulu

Hulu chief marketing officer Kelly Campbell is being promoted to president of Disney-owned SVOD service Hulu.

In this role, Campbell will manage Hulu’s suite of on demand and live streaming businesses. She will work closely with Disney’s television and film studios on Hulu’s original content, and with other Direct-to-Consumer and International leaders on the integration of key aspects of Hulu’s operations across the segment, according to a Disney press release.

Her promotion follows the departure of Hulu CEO Randy Freer earlier this month.

“Kelly is an immensely talented leader who has been a driving force in defining Hulu’s brand vision and strategy,” said chairman of Disney’s DTCI segment Kevin Mayer, to whom Campbell will report, in a statement. “She has built a tremendous multi-talented team and developed strategic campaigns that helped double Hulu’s subscriber base. Our senior leadership team is excited to welcome her aboard and can’t wait to work together to further grow Hulu’s footprint in the US and beyond.”

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“This is a time of extraordinary growth and transformation for Hulu, and I am incredibly energized by the opportunity ahead as we enter into this next chapter,” said Campbell in a statement. “The Hulu team is among the brightest, most technologically and creatively audacious in the industry, and I know we are going to do great things as part of the pioneering and equally bold team Kevin has built at DTCI.”

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As Hulu’s chief marketing officer, Campbell was responsible for subscriber growth; brand, content and business-to-business marketing; creative development; research and insights; and viewer experience. Prior to joining Hulu, she spent 12 years at Google in various leadership and marketing roles across the Google Ads and Google Cloud businesses, including a year in Google Japan building the online sales and operations functions. She began her career in finance as an investment banking analyst at JPMorgan Chase.

Hulu CEO Randy Freer to Depart

Hulu CEO Randy Freer is stepping down as the service reorganizes under Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International.

“I want to thank Randy for his leadership the last two years as CEO and for his collaboration the past several months to ensure an exceptionally bright future for Hulu,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International. “With the successful launch of Disney+, we are now focused on the benefits of scale within and across our portfolio of DTC businesses. Further integrating the immensely talented Hulu team into our organization will allow us to more effectively and efficiently deploy resources, rapidly grow our presence outside the U.S. and continue to relentlessly innovate. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity ahead, and I am confident in our ability to accelerate our positive momentum and better serve consumers.”

“I am grateful for my time at Hulu, and the opportunity to work and learn with an incredibly talented and dedicated group of people,” said Freer. “I also want to thank Kevin and The Walt Disney Company, as well as NBCUniversal and Fox, for providing me the opportunity to lead Hulu during a time of tremendous growth and significant industry transformation. Hulu has established itself as a leading choice for consumers looking for the best TV service available today, and I am confident Hulu will thrive inside Disney under DTCI’s leadership and resources.”

Freer will remain in his role for a period to assist in the transition.

Disney+ Appoints Chris Loveall to International Content Post

Disney+ has appointed international programming executive Chris Loveall to the position of VP of content — international.

Loveall will report into Matt Brodlie, SVP of international content development, working closely with him and Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International’s regional teams on the development and production of original scripted and unscripted series, as well as acquisitions for all markets outside of the United States.

“Chris has great instincts and a deep understanding of storytelling opportunities in the international marketplace,” Brodlie said in a statement. “He will be a tremendous asset as we grow a rich, diverse slate of original content that builds on the Disney+ storytelling ethos in ways that are unique to each of our international markets.”

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“I’m excited to be part of the Disney+ team and look forward to working with them to identify and develop stories that resonate with fans of the service around the world,” Loveall said in a statement.

Loveall most recently served as VP of international programming for AMC Networks, including AMC, SundanceTV and BBC America, and was responsible for the development of original international commissions and co-productions as well as select acquisitions for each network. For SundanceTV, he oversaw the co-productions “Liar” with ITV and “Rosehaven” and “Cleverman” with the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Prior to joining the AMC Networks group, Loveall served as VP of original programming at Pivot, developing scripted drama, comedy and animation projects, as well as overseeing international co-productions including “Fortitude” with Sky Atlantic and “Please Like Me” with the Australian Broadcasting Corp. He has also held a number of programming-focused positions at ABC Signature Studios, The CW and other production companies.

Disney+ Sets Key International Launch Dates, Pricing

The Walt Disney Co. on Aug. 19 said its much-ballyhooed new subscription streaming service, Disney+, will launch in Canada and the Netherlands on Nov. 12, the same day it launches in the United States.

The international rollout continues a week later with a push into Australia and New Zealand.

Initial pricing is similar to the United States, where the service will bow at what some analysts call a “Netflix-killing” low price of $6.99 a month.

In Canada, monthly subscriptions will cost CAD$8.99 per month or CAD $89.99 per year. In the Netherlands, subscriptions are 6.99 euros per month, or 69.99 euros per year.

In Australia, Disney+ will cost AUD$8.99 per month or AUD$89.99 per year and in New Zealand, the subscription price will be NZD$9.99 for a month and $99.99 for a year.

The Walt Disney Co. said more international territories will be announced on later dates, and that it expects to stream content through Disney+ in most major global markets within two years.

Disney also announced it has struck global agreements with most major platforms to distribute the Disney+ app across partner mobile and connected TV devices.

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At launch, consumers will be able to subscribe to Disney+ directly or via  in-app purchase and start streaming from the following partner platforms and devices (dependent on country):

  • Apple (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV, and fully integrated with the Apple TV app; customers can subscribe to Disney+ via in-app purchase);
  • Google (Android phones, Android TV devices, Google Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices);
  • Microsoft (Xbox One);
  • Sony / Sony Interactive Entertainment (PlayStation 4 and all Android-based Sony TVs); and
  • Roku (Roku streaming players and Roku TV models).

Last week, Disney+ said it has tapped former Luke Bradley-Jones, a former Sky executive, as SVP, Direct to Consumer, and general manager of Disney+ for Europe and Africa, starting in 2020.

Also last week, Disney struck a new distribution deal with cable giant Charter Communications that “contemplates Charter’s future distribution of Disney’s streaming services, including Hulu, ESPN+ and the soon-to-be-launched Disney+,” according to a press release issued by Charter.

Disney+ is targeting 60 million to 90 million subs globally by 2024.

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Arriving Digitally July 30, on Disc Aug. 13 From Disney

Disney will release Marvel Studios’ blockbuster Avengers: Endgame digitally July 30 (including Movies Anywhere), and on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and on demand Aug. 13.

The 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe concludes the first “Avengers” saga that has spanned 11 years, beginning with 2008’s Iron Man. The film, in which the Avengers take one final stand against Thanos, has earned $834.9 at the domestic box office. Its $2.75 billion worldwide box office tally is the highest-ever for a film in its initial theatrical run (without a re-release).

Bonus features include a tribute to Stan Lee; the tale of Robert Downey Jr.’s casting as Iron Man; the evolution of Captain America; Black Widow’s dramatic story arc; directors Anthony and Joe Russo’s experience at the helm of both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame; the making of an epic battle scene with the women of the MCU; the creation of Bro Thor; deleted scenes; a gag reel and more.

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The digital release, available in 4K Ultra HD, HD and SD, offers access to an exclusive extra highlighting the love story of Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Peggy Carter.

Consumers can also buy a digital bundle of all four films in the Avengers franchise, which includes Marvel’s The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

The film’s theatrical run is expanding June 28 with an introduction by the Russo Brothers and additional post-credits footage.

‘Cinderella’ Waltzes Into National Film Registry

In support of the upcoming 70th anniversary of Cinderella and the film’s induction into the National Film Registry, The Walt Disney Studios and the Library of Congress held a screening of the film along with a Cinderella Ball June 20 in Washington, D.C. The film is currently available on digital and Movies Anywhere and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD June 25.

Disney’s ‘Cinderella’ Waltzes to Digital June 18, Disc June 25 for Its 70th

For its upcoming 70th anniversary, Cinderella will waltz into the Walt Disney Signature Collection on digital HD (including Movies Anywhere) June 18 and Blu-ray and DVD June 25.

Recently added to the National Film Registry, the animated classic centers on kind and hardworking Cinderella, who is ordered around by her cruel stepmother and her awful stepsisters. When an invitation to the royal ball arrives, Cinderella is left at home. Just when Cinderella believes all is lost, her Fairy Godmother appears and with a wave of her wand transforms her night.

Cinderella is the ninth title to join the Walt Disney Signature Collection, which includes Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Bambi, The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid.

The anniversary edition of Cinderella offers two new extras: Cinderella trivia and fun facts, hosted by Ruth Righi and Ava Kolker from Disney Channel’s “Sydney to the Max,” and “In Walt’s Words: Enhanced Edition,” a special edition of Cinderella featuring production details, original storyboards, archival photos, thumbnail sketches and transcripts throughout the feature film.

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Hours of previously released bonus materials celebrate the animation, music and impact of Cinderella, showcasing Walt Disney’s core group of animators, the art of Disney legend Mary Blair, the original demo recording of the film’s title song and Cinderella’s iconic glass slipper. They include:

  • Diane Disney Miller Cinderella film intro, in which Miller describes how Cinderella helped launch a studio renaissance;
  • “The Real Fairy Godmother,” about the real-life inspiration for the Fairy Godmother, Mary Alice O’Connor, wife of Disney layout artist Ken O’Connor;
  • “Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fairyland,” showing how Imagineers created a Fantasyland at Walt Disney World featuring each of the Disney princesses; and
  • “The Magic of the Glass Slipper,” in which world-famous shoe designer Christian Louboutin creates a very exclusive “Glass Slipper” in honor of the Disney classic.

Power Marketing 2019: Home Entertainment’s Top Campaigns and the People Behind Them

Welcome to Media Play News’ first-ever Power Marketing special report. Here, we profile the campaigns behind some of the year’s top-selling disc and digital home releases — and the marketing executives and teams that made them happen.

Our focus is primarily on the big studios — and the big titles — but we kept an eye on independents and retailers as well. As you’ll see, there’s no shortage of ingenuity and innovation.

The Power Campaigns

Avengers: Infinity War — Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International

To capitalize on audience reaction to the epic and unexpected story arc of Avengers: Infinity War during the film’s theatrical run, Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International’s worldwide marketing team formed an aggressive pre-sell campaign. The campaign began at the theatrical window and reinforced that this film is the “beginning of the end of a 10-year journey” for the Marvel brand and is an essential must-have for both hardcore MCU collectors and general movie-loving audiences. The campaign capitalized on Marvel’s year-long 10th anniversary celebration, in which the brand was “always on” in theaters, and tied in with creative promotions driving the entire Marvel catalog.

Disney released a timed trailer with Marvel 10th anniversary events taking place at San Diego Comic-Con International a short time before the film’s July 31 digital release, resulting in a 109% lift in orders. The trailer generated 3.5 million organic impressions on Facebook within a 24-hour span. Additionally, Comic-Con attendees were given the opportunity to take part in a Twitter scavenger hunt that sent fans looking for “infinity stones” throughout the show floor. While only attendees participated in the actual hunt, it trended in Twitter’s top 10 nationally.

The Disney marketing team also launched innovative promotions with leading tech and gaming communities, including Marvel Studios’ first-ever Amazon Alexa Skill trivia game, which included a call to action to purchase the film on Amazon Prime Video.

On digital platforms, the team deployed several creative executions that generated excitement and increased sales. Thanos “took over” all Marvel and talent social media pages. A Facebook AR activation allowed users to apply Thanos’ “fade to ash” effects to their own pictures, and a video series was launched to bring casual consumers up to speed on the MCU backstory. The Russo brothers hosted a Vudu viewing party that generated hundreds of millions of impressions on Twitter and spiked digital sales by more than 33%.

The Disney marketing team also leveraged excitement about the film to create robust integrations with Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Freeform, as well as leading sports brands, including ESPN’s e-sports airing of the Overwatch league, regional MLB home games and a custom Dodger Stadium takeover.

The international team planned big, bold stunts, including the installation of a massive fist gauntlet that “broke ground” in a key London mainline station, a light show in London where the Avengers “A” was beamed into the city skyline, and huge Blu-ray Disc cover installations that were erected in malls throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Avengers: Infinity War wound up being the No. 1 physical and digital release of 2018, and the fastest-selling digital release ever.

Batman: The Animated Series — Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (TV)

Jeff Brown and his team crafted an innovative, interactive 13-month campaign to successfully publicize and market the long-awaited release of the fully-remastered Batman: The Animated Series — Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-ray boxed set. The campaign strategically balanced traditional mainstream approaches with topline genre outreach, global entertainment promotion and grassroots social interaction.

The campaign utilized the two largest fan gatherings in the United States — San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con — as tentpoles for announcements, exhibitions, media activations, and direct interaction with press and consumers. The promotional window opened with a surprise revelation of the remastering of the episodes at the “Batman: The Animated Series” 25th anniversary celebration panel before a capacity crowd of 3,000 at New York Comic Con in October 2017. WBHE continued a teaser approach for the following eight months until San Diego Comic-Con in 2018, with a full day of high-profile and genre-based media interviews capped by an at-capacity 2,000-seat panel, where most details were revealed. From there, WBHE enacted an aggressive three-month publicity blitz, leading up to a final New York Comic Con panel before 3,000 enthusiastic fans 17 days before the DVD and Blu-ray Disc’s street date.

Over the course of the 13-month campaign, WBHE employed numerous engaging publicity tactics to maintain fan interest, ramping up as street date approached. These efforts included:

  • A stealth initial soft launch that garnered more than 2,000 preorders before officially announcing the product, resulting in a greater immediacy for initial demand;
  • An announced lower-than-expected exclusive limited-edition number that drove even greater sales and forced an eventual expansion of that production run to more than double the original total;
  • Inclusion of a digital copy with each disc set, as a consumer value add;
  • Continuous social presence utilizing the acting stars of the series (Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, Loren Lester, John Glover, Diane Pershing), as well as Bat-friendly celebrities (Kevin Smith, Troy Baker, Diedrich Bader, Jason O’Mara) to garner millions of impressions;
  • Maintaining an active and responsive social presence to keep fans engaged and interested, as well as addressing their concerns for the myriad technical issues that befell the release;
  • The creation of special split-screen videos to better exemplify the vast improvement between the original footage and the remastered episodes;
  • The creation of an unboxing video featuring the series’ star with largest online following (Tara Strong), posted on street date;
  • The production of a series of GIFs featuring cast and filmmakers with Tenor that garnered 250,000 added impressions;
  • And a Twitter-based two-week promotion — “BTAS on Tour” — that allowed fans to “follow” the travels of an actual boxed set, including visits to Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Central Park, Springsteen on Broadway, the World Series at Dodger Stadium, Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Universal Studios, L.A. Comic Con, Randy’s Donuts, Voodoo Donuts, the “Friends” couch and more.

Bumblebee — Paramount Home Entertainment

For the global home entertainment release of the hit film Bumblebee, the Paramount Home Entertainment (PHE) marketing team executed a multi-phase campaign to drive digital and physical sales and generate tons of buzz. The team additionally elevated the title with an innovative product offer: 14 deleted/extended scenes and an animated motion comic with a new Bumblebee adventure — also offered as a printed comic in the Blu-ray. The gift-ability of the title was heavily promoted on packaging and through a special trailer, helping to drive pre-Easter sales.

PHE targeted multiple audiences through comprehensive media buys during both the electronic sellthrough and physical windows. From major sporting events such as MLB’s opening day to Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards and promoted posts across social media, the carefully orchestrated advertising campaign reached parents, kids, “Transformers” fans and more to ensure awareness and drive purchases across all consumer targets.

Augmenting the paid media was a robust social media campaign that included multiple custom activations for the various fan segments. Among the highlights were a partnership with Volkswagen that blended contextual storytelling with custom social creative, concerted messaging for National Women’s Day highlighting the film’s heroine, and a wildly successful April Fool’s activation that included a vintage-looking 4:3 digital trailer for a special VHS release that generated online coverage reaching 53 million unique monthly visitors and garnered 12 million social impressions.

The campaign was rounded out by widespread publicity including news coverage of a towering Bumblebee at WonderCon and San Francisco’s Pier 39, a behind-the-scenes press day with the film’s screenwriter, foley artists and Bumblebee in VW form as well as talent interviews, Easter segments and more.

Ultimately, the combined marketing efforts drove both digital and physical sales that exceeded expectations and sent Bumblebee to the top of the sales charts.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom — Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

To market the global home release of the huge blockbuster hit Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the marketing team at Universal Pictures Home Entertainment developed a groundbreaking interactive campaign in partnership with Facebook and Messenger. The campaign focused on sharable in-store and in-home augmented-reality (AR) experiences showcasing the film’s celebrated dinosaurs. It was not only the largest effort of its kind for both partners, but also the first integrated AR experience across the Facebook family of apps — specifically Facebook and Messenger.

The day the film was released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray Disc and DVD, participating retailers across 18 countries set up eye-catching Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom displays with instructions on how to activate the AR experience. Shoppers could scan a special QR code to launch the sharable AR effect that placed the ferocious Indoraptor directly in their path, providing them with an up-close encounter with one of the newest dinosaurs from the “Jurassic” franchise. In the United States alone, the experience spanned more than 17,000 stores across multiple national retail and grocery chains.

A second experience awaited buyers in the United States, Canada and 14 other countries. The in-home experience was activated through
a collectible insert that came with each purchased disc, using the Messenger camera. The experience unveiled an interactive baby version of the film’s Velociraptor hero, Blue. The animated Baby Blue could be placed in any environment, and images and video of her behaving curiously, playfully and aggressively could be captured and shared with friends.

“Just as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom transports viewers into an immersive world of discovery and wonder, the new AR offerings extended that excitement and innovation to retail stores and consumer homes,” said Hilary Hoffman, UPHE EVP of global marketing. “We were thrilled to have a world-class partner in Facebook to help power these engaging AR experiences.”

The AR activation was one of several successful elements of the overall integrated marketing campaign, which also included broadcast and digital marketing as well as a global press event. The AR activation was used to directly target consumers, offering them an additional incentive to purchase the film.

Ready Player One — Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (Film)

To market the global home entertainment release of Ready Player One, Jessica Schell, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment EVP and GM of film, and her team developed and implemented a successful comprehensive marketing strategy targeting fans of both the film and the book — along with general film enthusiasts. The campaign culminated with an immersive experiential activation at San Diego Comic-Con, leading to strong physical and digital sales, making it one of the top-performing home entertainment titles of the year.

Drafting off of Warner Bros.’ successful theatrical marketing campaign for the film, the WBHE marketing team worked closely with Blair Rich, president of worldwide marketing for Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, to align campaigns and leverage best practices from the film’s theatrical opening. Marketing data insights from the theatrical team helped WBHE hone in on key Ready Player One fans, while tapping into relevant expansion audiences, focusing on sci-fi/adventure aficionados, Steven Spielberg fans, and consumers who buy a lot of home entertainment product.

During the theatrical marketing campaign, WBHE used “homage” poster art featuring Ready Player One lead character Parzival incorporated into one-sheets of classic Warner Bros. films such as Bullitt and The Lost Boys, providing the imagery to key digital retailers iTunes and Vudu.

WBHE also created a new interactive activation at Comic-Con. Featuring iconic sets and moments from the film, the activation also incorporated a pivotal scene from The Shining. The installation contained two Ready Player One-themed escape rooms, which tested fans’ knowledge of 1980s culture; re-creations of several sets from the film; a full arcade; props and costumes from the film; and photo opportunities accompanied by custom hashtags. The “surprise” element exclusive to WBHE was a faithful re-creation of the Overlook Hotel hallway, elevators, the doors to room 237, and the iconic bathroom from The Shining, along with atmospheric sound and visual effects.

WBHE hosted a media and influencer preview prior to the activation opening that included a private guided tour and stand-up and photo opportunities. In keeping with the retro 1980s themes included in the film, a VHS copy of the film was designed and created and was given to press along with a copy of the film’s soundtrack on vinyl, which was released by WB’s Water Tower Music. The highly coveted VHS giveaway was signed by Ernest Cline, author of the Ready Player One novel.
The activation was a social media success, reaching more than 3.2 million followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The activation also secured the No. 1 spots across the Ready Player One social accounts, including the highest-performing posts on Instagram for the activation announcement as well as a post giving a look inside the exhibit. The Facebook page also saw the highest-performing post with a photo album featuring images from SDCC weekend, and the No. 1 Tweet featuring the “Riverdale” cast at the activation.

Venom — Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Following a top-grossing run at the box office and overwhelmingly positive audience reviews, Lexine Wong, Senior EVP of worldwide marketing, and the SPHE marketing team took advantage of the holiday gift-giving time period with a December release. They set goals to create an innovative marketing campaign for the home entertainment release of Venom that would break through the holiday clutter, be buzzworthy, have the potential to go viral, and proclaim collectibility. The campaign took a multi-pronged approach to target consumers, press and media with various standout activations.

Leveraging social analytics and fan conversations, the team took a risk and leaned into the comedy and fandom of the Eddie Brock and Venom relationship. The result was a new home entertainment announce trailer that was a tongue-in-cheek parody of traditional romantic comedies. Debuting the trailer exclusively with Entertainment Weekly and garnering widespread pickup across mainstream, fanboy and entertainment press, the trailer was further integrated across paid media and all digital touchpoints of the campaign. The response was outstanding, accumulating millions of views over the life of the campaign.

In addition, to celebrate the digital release, the team partnered with Super News Live to host a Venom Block Party with a special guest appearance by Venom co-creator Todd McFarlane, a live mural painting by local and well-known street artists, Venom-themed snacks and special cast appearances. The event generated extensive press coverage with both local and national press outlets.

Next, in a first-of-its-kind co-branded NFL broadcast partnership, Wong and her team worked with the NFL to create a series of hype videos integrating Venom with football highlights to get sports fans excited about the upcoming match-ups.

Amazon had an exclusive limited-edition Venom Blu-ray with glossy foldout packaging and art from illustrator Marko Maney.

Finally, to drive customers to Walmart, SPHE created special 1980s “throwback” Venom action figures packed in a Blu-ray gift set, complemented by a themed commercial that was amplified on paid and organic social, digital media and on the retailer’s channels.

Through pulling all marketing levers and taking a unique approach to a holiday campaign, the Venom home entertainment campaign made Adweek’s “The 7 Biggest Movie Marketing Moments of 2018,” the only home entertainment campaign to be featured.

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The Power Marketers

Jeff Brown
EVP and GM, Television, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Brown for more than two decades has been an instrumental member of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) team, helping guide the division to the forefront of home entertainment innovation. Brown’s team manages all digital and physical WB Television (WBTV) content for both new-release and catalog on a global basis. WBHE content includes live-action TV series, non-theatrical family and animation programming. Additionally, Brown manages third-party partner relationships with content owners such as BBC as well as original content development exclusively for home distribution. In recent years, under Brown’s tenure, WBHE has achieved five years of television transactional share growth; over 50% expansion of its made-for-video slate, including the Home Media Award-winning top DTV of 2018, The Death of Superman; leadership in TV digital with innovation in pricing, promotion, new customer acquisition strategies and use of data-driven analytics; and leadership in “collection offerings,” including the Home Media Awards presented by Media Play News title of the year for 2018 —
Batman: The Animated Series — Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-ray boxed set.

Regarded as a digital pioneer in the home entertainment realm, Brown has paced WB’s television digital efforts for high-profile series such as “The Big Bang Theory” and “Friends,” as well as for evergreen animation brands such as “Scooby-Doo.” Brown further grew WB’s success with an unprecedented expansion into made-for-video content.
Early in his career, Brown was an instrumental member of the Warner Bros. team that led the DVD/Blu-ray Disc revolution. He was later based in London as Warner Bros. head of EMEA, where he helped engineer the company’s adaptation of a global franchise marketing planning process. He then moved back to the United States and assumed responsibility of WBHE’s television business unit.

Before joining WBHE in 1996, Brown worked in marketing management for General Mills and Nestle, as well as operating as general manager/owner of two successful entrepreneurial ventures.

Hilary J. Hoffman
EVP, Global Marketing, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Hoffman has consistently shown a knack for leveraging creativity, data and intuition to craft marketing plans for the home release of some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters and franchises, from Jurassic World to Despicable Me and the “Fast and Furious” line. With an eye on maximizing revenue, she defines go-to-market consumer strategies and the overall approach for consumer engagement, both through traditional media and through new platforms and technologies. Hoffman and her team focus on the complete packaged-goods and digital product lifecycle. Her marketing ability and leadership strengths were recognized in 2014 when she was asked to transform the marketing department into an innovative global organization.

Hoffman currently oversees strategic marketing and business strategy for Universal Pictures and its distributed lines worldwide across new-release, catalog and TV properties for both physical and digital. She is currently implementing new data-driven decision-making tools to optimize media spend and measure effectiveness of marketing elements.

David Kite
SVP, Global Marketing, Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International
Kite oversees global marketing for the in-home release of studio and TV content distributed by The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television. He is responsible for the global in-home release calendar of new-release and catalog titles across physical and digital retailers, overall creative product strategy, linear and digital marketing and customer relationship management that drive sales, ownership and consumption of the company’s content. This includes the creation and implementation of all creative marketing and bonus materials.
With nearly 20 years of experience at The Walt Disney Company, Kite has held leading roles in digital marketing, product management and distribution strategy. Most notably, Kite’s team has spearheaded campaigns for six of the top 10 bestselling in-home titles of the past 36 months: including the top selling physical releases of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, which currently holds the record as the bestselling 52-week digital title of all time. Kite and his team are currently working on campaigns for Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Alita: Battle Angel and Dark Phoenix.

Amanda Kozlowski
EVP, Home Entertainment and Digital Distribution Marketing, Lionsgate
Kozlowski oversees marketing efforts across traditional and emerging platforms and technologies for Lionsgate’s entire home entertainment and digital distribution division. The division includes the distribution of Lionsgate’s feature film slate, titles from one of the largest television businesses in the world, Starz original programming, a 17,000-title film and television library, and titles from leading content partners such as Roadside Attractions, A24, CBS Films, Grindstone, Pantelion and Saban Films. Kozlowski recently transformed the global marketing team to focus on complete lifecycle marketing and distribution strategies, planning for content from its initial release through the streaming and TV windows. In addition, Kozlowski plays a lead role in the studio’s enterprise-wide marketing technology, ad technology, market research, marketing analytics, CRM and customer acquisition initiatives.

Kozlowski previously served as SVP of digital marketing, leading Lionsgate’s digital marketing strategy. She has also overseen the execution of Lionsgate’s domestic EST/VOD sales efforts and distribution deals with Roadside Attractions, Miramax Films and StudioCanal. Prior to joining Lionsgate, she oversaw campaigns for marketing agency A.D.D. Marketing + Advertising as well for the nonprofit organization Film Independent.

Her biggest challenge, she said, is “creating clever campaigns that generate attention while remaining authentic to each IP and its audience. With a wealth of content available to consumers and so many marketing messages targeting them, cutting through the clutter authentically is more important than ever.” Her biggest opportunity, she said, is the fact that more content is being consumed than ever — and there are more channels for audiences to choose from, as well. “As someone who grew up in a smaller Southern city with a love for indie film, I had to really work to access content that interested me,” Kozlowski said. “The immediacy that consumers have to connect to all kinds of stories today is incredibly exciting.”

Kozlowski said that the arrival of motion picture group chairman Joe Drake and president of worldwide marketing Damon Wolf to Lionsgate the past year “has reinvigorated our data marketing initiatives. With their support, we launched the Lionsgate Data Center this year to help us better locate and understand our consumers. As someone who’s been working on marketing technology and consumer data for over four years, it’s incredibly exciting to see data-driven decision making taken the next level.”

Vincent Marçais
EVP, Worldwide Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
Marçais has served as EVP of worldwide marketing for Paramount Home Entertainment for just over a year, overseeing brand, creative, media, customer marketing, international marketing and consumer research for all of the studio’s home entertainment releases on physical and digital. He reports to Bob Buchi, president of Paramount Home Entertainment.

Marçais previously served as EVP of worldwide brand and customer marketing for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. In this role he oversaw the release campaigns for all transactional businesses (Video-on-Demand, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and Digital HD) and also managed joint consumer marketing efforts with digital retailers and U.S. and international operators. During his tenure Marçais was a key driver of the division’s transformation from a pure physical distribution company into a digital new media company. His marketing savvy helped spur sales to consumers of such films as The Martian, Joy, Brooklyn, and the “X-Men,” “Ice Age” and “Planet of the Apes” franchises.

Marçais began his career with French car manufacturer Citroën and joined Fox Video France in 1991, where he held numerous marketing and sales positions. From 2002 to 2006 he served as Fox’s VP of marketing for the European home entertainment operation. Marçais relocated to Los Angeles in 2006 to serve as SVP of international marketing for Fox and became EVP of worldwide brand and consumer marketing in 2012.

Jessica Schell
EVP and GM, Film, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Schell joined Warner Bros. in 2014 and has global responsibility for all operations related to the physical and digital sales, marketing, creative, distribution, finance and administrative functions of the studio’s film home entertainment releases, including new theatrical titles and catalog. Schell has been successful in combining traditional marketing strategies with her extensive background in digital marketing and new media to create cutting-edge campaigns for such titles as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, It, Ready Player One, Crazy Rich Asians, American Sniper and the “Lego” franchise, driving both digital and physical sales. Schell also identifies and engages new technology marketing opportunities and platforms for the studio’s home entertainment offerings, including virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality.

Schell oversees the continued growth of WBHE’s Blu-ray Disc business, and also manages the growing market for 4K UHD Blu-ray titles, including the top-performing 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, The Matrix Trilogy and The Dark Knight Trilogy. She has been instrumental in the continued growth of the digital transaction business, including electronic sellthrough and VOD. During her tenure, Warner Bros. has been the No. 1 home entertainment theatrical studio with a 17% share, the No. 1 home entertainment theatrical catalog studio with a 20% share, and the No. 1 home entertainment physical 4K studio with a 22% share, with consumers spending more than $100 million in combined sellthrough and rental sales of WB 4K theatrical product.

Additionally, under Schell’s leadership WBHE received three Home Media Awards presented by Media Play News for 2018 home entertainment offerings, including Best Blu-ray Disc and Best Restoration for the 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, and Best Horror Disc for It.

Prior to joining Warner, Schell spent nine years at NBC Universal, most recently serving as EVP of worldwide new media and digital entertainment for Universal Pictures.

Lexine Wong
Senior EVP,
Worldwide Marketing, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Wong leads Sony Pictures Television’s Global Home Entertainment marketing team. She is charged with delivering breakthrough marketing campaigns across a wide range of product from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s studio labels, spurring consumer engagement and driving transactions across both digital and physical windows. Her specific areas of oversight include consumer and brand strategy, creative advertising, media and digital, PR and strategic partnerships, content development for digital/physical product, and new product development.

Wong began her career at Young & Rubicam, the ad agency, and after joining what is now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment rose to EVP of Worldwide Marketing in 2001 and her present position five years later, just as the industry was launching Blu-ray Disc.

Wong’s focus is on providing value and measurable impact for consumers through entertaining, shareable and highly interactive experiences across all channels. Wong’s insights-driven marketing strategy provides a strong foundation for product development and continued marketing innovation around new platforms critical for growth in the industry, such as Movies Anywhere, virtual reality, augmented reality, 4K UHD and other direct-to-consumer digital offerings.

Under her direction, Wong’s team in 2018 was responsible for buzzworthy publicity and media campaigns for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

The Power Teams

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Jennifer Anderson, SVP, Marketing, is responsible for leading the strategic development and execution of brand marketing and creative for all SPHE new release and catalog business. She oversees a cross functional team including brand and product marketing, promotions and creative advertising.

Jane Mohon, SVP, Marketing Services, is responsible for data-driven consumer strategy overseeing digital and social media marketing, traditional and digital media planning and buying as well as publicity. She finds synergies across paid, owned and earned media by connecting the dots among consumer activation opportunities.

Joe Burg, Executive Director, Content Development, leads a team of content producers in the ideation and production of home entertainment original content and is a lead producer on new technology initiatives.

Gregg Shack, VP, Creative Advertising, guides the team’s creative strategy, developing key art, print and audio visual assets for ad campaigns.

Jana Simmons, VP, TV & Customer Marketing, partners with the commercial teams and customers to develop marketing programs for all SPHE’s transactional retail partners.

Lionsgate

Amelia Rogers, SVP, Integrated Marketing, oversees the integrated marketing team covering both owned and third-party content.

Erin Carter, SVP, Integrated Marketing, focuses on retail marketing and distribution efforts.

Whitney Dickinson, VP, Media and Data, runs media planning and the division’s efforts for the Lionsgate Data Center.

Tom Gundred, SVP, Creative Development, oversees print, AV and digital creative direction across film and television content.

Paramount Home Entertainment

Dina Marovich, SVP, Worldwide Media & Interactive Marketing, oversees all media planning and buying for the division.

Rozita Tolouey, SVP, Brand Marketing, drives the division’s global marketing strategies for new releases and acquisitions.

Michele Bell, SVP, Worldwide Creative Services, is responsible for all of the division’s creative advertising materials.

Brenda Ciccone, SVP, Worldwide Publicity & Communications, oversees all publicity and corporate communications for the division on a global basis.

Melinda Froelich, SVP, International Marketing, is responsible for international marketing, advertising, public relations, promotions and release strategy.

Hilarie Hildebrandt, SVP, Customer Marketing, focuses on executing consumer-focused programs with each retail client.

Alanna Powers, VP, Brand Marketing, oversees strategies for catalog titles.

Leda Chang, VP, Digital Marketing, drives interactive initiatives.

Jacqueline Gustafson, VP, Home Media Content, supervises bonus material strategies.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Pam Blum, SVP, UPHE Marketing, oversees creative marketing services and the development of value-added content for UPHE’s releases on a worldwide basis.

Lea Porteneuve, SVP, Global Publicity & Communications, oversees global business, technology and executive communications for UPHE, spearheading all strategic publicity initiatives in support of the studio’s digital and physical home entertainment offerings.

Jeff Ackermann, SVP, Global Brand Marketing — Live Action New-Release & Catalog, spearheads global strategic marketing, product development and management of new-release titles from Universal Pictures and Focus Features, and the studio’s extensive catalog library.

Stephanie Lutjens, VP, Global Brand Marketing — Family, TV & Promotions, leads global strategic marketing, product development and management of family new release and TV, in addition to managing worldwide home entertainment promotions.

Joe Eibert, VP, Digital Marketing, leads digital marketing strategic planning and execution for UPHE releases.

Nadia Haney, VP, Global Marketing, Emerging Technology, is responsible for consumer-focused global strategic marketing for
emerging formats.

Denise Haro, SVP, Global Consumer Insights & Strategy, oversees business insights, marketing data analytics, and UPHE’s consumer insights and research with a focus on aligning global commercial strategy around product, window, messaging and innovation.

Ted Chi, VP, Digital Marketing Strategy, is responsible for establishing and leading the strategy and execution of marketing for the Digital Distribution group.

Sandy Choi, SVP, Brand Marketing, North America Partnerships, manages the North American third party partners which includes developing marketing campaigns for partner releases across both physical and digital platforms and leading the cross-functional team that oversees the overall management of partner relationships.

Kelly Harrington, VP, Global Brand Marketing, Catalog, 1440 Productions & Licensing, leads global strategic marketing and management of UPHE catalog releases, 1440 Production new releases, and commercial marketing for licensing.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Kristina Fugate, SVP, Marketing, Film, handles all theatrical new-release and catalog brand marketing efforts across disc and digital platforms, which also includes creative advertising, franchise lifecycle management and global strategy.

Chris Baldwin, SVP, Worldwide Promotions & Partnerships, oversees all global promotions and partnerships for WBHE, including new-release, catalog, TV, family and animation titles.

Jack Walker, SVP, Media & Digital Marketing, oversees all media and digital marketing for WBHE, including new-release, catalog, TV, family and animation, and games. Walker reports to Jessica Schell and Jeff Brown.

Emily Zalenski, SVP, Worldwide Publicity, Film, oversees worldwide publicity, events and experiential marketing efforts for new-release and catalog titles. She also manages corporate communications for WBHE.

Nicole Coleman, SVP, Trade Marketing and Sales Integration, oversees the theatrical catalog P&L for the home entertainment group across the physical and digital retail landscape, and also leads trade marketing and sales planning for both physical and digital film and television content.

Laura Lupinetti, VP, Film Trade Marketing, is responsible for driving go-to-market strategy for WBHE’s new-release and catalog businesses, curating content and price variability to maximize sales and placement across various retail windows.

Rosemary Markson, SVP, TV Marketing, leads global marketing for Warner Bros. TV series across all transactional platforms, with responsibility for strategy development, product management, consumer marketing and business planning for current on-air series and library/catalog content.

Mary Ellen Thomas, VP, Television Marketing, Family & Animation, oversees product development and marketing for animated and live-action made for videos, episodic animation, and partner brands (Peanuts, Dr. Seuss, Viz Media, and WWE).

Melissa Hufjay, VP, Publicity, Television, oversees worldwide publicity, events and Comic-Con presence for all television, family, animation and live-action/animated made-for-video titles.

Zandra Palmer, VP, Trade Marketing, provides strategic direction to field sales and brand marketing teams in the development of effective retail programs across all distribution platforms in North America, both physical and digital, to achieve or exceed financial objectives.

Beyond the Majors

In addition to major studio promotions, Media Play News selected some notable campaigns from the independent studio and consumer retail realm:

The Final Wish — Cinedigm

The Final Wish has become one of Cinedigm’s highest-grossing VOD, digital and physical releases of 2019 due to a well-structured campaign consisting of grassroots, social media, publicity and traditional media. The horror film, released on digital, VOD and theatrically Feb. 8 (on disc March 19), premiered at Screamfest, the largest horror festival in the United States, and maintained its momentum through word-of-mouth screenings with horror site Dread Central. Social media consisted of a seven-month campaign in which engagement was high, boosted by an extremely targeted paid campaign and organically by a supportive cast and crew. A 30-second spot was created for TV and YouTube highlighting the film’s pedigree and cast.

About the Marketer: Kim Staruk, executive director of marketing, Cinedigm

Staruk joined the company in March 2014. She oversees the general partner relationship, overall business strategy and marketing plans for key content partners such as Hallmark, Status Media and the NHL. Staruk previously spent four years as a brand manager at Universal Music and two years at Sony.

“Awards Watch” — FandangoNow

Capitalizing on Fandango’s position as the destination for all things movies, FandangoNow’s annual Awards Watch Campaign was a Fandango-FandangoNow, cross-company collaboration. As part of a promotion with “The Today Show” and to help drive tune-in to the Golden Globes, FandangoNow offered a code for 50% off all Globe-nominated movies, from the day the nominees were announced on “Today” through the following weekend. During Awards season, culminating with the Academy Awards, nominated movies contributed up to 50% of FandangoNow’s business. Both past winners and new-release nominees were supported across the platform with all marketing touchpoints, including homepage takeovers and dynamic awards checklists, across connected devices and TVs, and on social media.

About the Marketer: Nantalie Song, senior director of marketing, FandangoNow

Song is the brand and consumer marketing lead for Fandango’s transactional video-on-demand service. She oversees marketing strategy and ad campaigns across owned-and-operated platforms, including social, smart TVs and OTT devices. She weaves research into stories to drive customer acquisition and retention, as well as collaboration among internal and external partners.

About the Marketer: Chad Ludwig, head of brand marketing, Fandango

Ludwig leads brand strategy and growth efforts for Fandango (ticketing), FandangoNow and Rotten Tomatoes. Previously, he has served in similar leadership roles, including COO of Oxford Road (a direct-to-consumer advertising agency), head of marketing for JibJab (expanding their subscription eCard business and launching the kids entertainment brand, StoryBots), and GM for Disney Movies Online (Disney’s initial foray into streaming movies and premium content). He’s successfully led a variety of efforts across business models (direct-to-consumer subscription, micro-transaction and/or e-commerce) and platforms (mobile, web, social and app-based).

“Back to the Movies” — Redbox

Redbox executive Ash Eldifrawi leveraged his experience as both a licensed clinical psychologist and a marketing executive to forge the “Back to the Movies” campaign. The continuing campaign, which began in August 2018, is aimed at combating digital isolation and creating meaningful consumer dialogue around the power of Movie Nights in bringing people together. The campaign encouraging co-watching has become part of “the overall positioning and core mission of our company,” he says.

A Redbox August 2018 Omnibus Survey found 61% of Americans missed the days when movie nights were a planned activity with friends and family; 58% of Americans said binge-watching TV shows — an activity most often done alone on the small screen — has replaced their movie-watching experience; 68% of Americans said having a regular movie night would bring them closer to friends/family; and 81% of Americans said watching a movie is therapeutic/makes them feel better. As a psychologist, Eldifrawi backed up the campaign with further research that showed binge-watching stimulates the pleasure center of the brain that drives addiction while watching a feature together with others stimulates a different part of the brain that has to do with deeper meaning.

The campaign is promoted on social media with videos on millennial-targeted ATTN:, with a spot that explains the psychological dangers of too much isolated binging, and on mom-targeted Scary Mommy, with a spot that features a mother who neglects her family to watch her phone.

The Redbox site further promotes the continuing campaign with a page asking viewers to take a pledge to “escape your digital bubble” and “enjoy more movie nights” with the hashtag #BacktotheMovies. Pledgees get a surprise offer. Next up, engaging studio partners in the cause and a wider media campaign.

About the Marketer: Ash Eldifrawi, chief marketing and customer experience officer, Redbox

Eldifrawi is responsible for all functions of product management and marketing, where he works to drive alignment and collaboration between different functions for new products, services and enhancements. Prior to joining Redbox, he served as chief commercial officer at Gogo, where he joined in 2010 after serving as CMO at Hayneedle. Earlier in his career, he served as director of brand advertising at Google, and spent time at Wrigley and in management consulting at McKinsey & Co. He recently co-authored the book The Ten Worlds: The New Psychology of Happiness, building on his doctoral work in clinical psychology at The Chicago School of Psychology, where his research focused on neurology and biopsychology.

(Additional reporting by Stephanie Prange.)