Power Marketing 2023: Homeward Bound

With cracks now appearing in the “all-in” streaming strategy, traditional, transactional home entertainment is getting a second look from some of Hollywood’s most powerful media and entertainment executives.

In March, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger said he believes the push toward streaming theatrical titles undermined the licensing and retail businesses.

“Home video, at one point as we called it, was extremely lucrative for our company,” Iger said. “We’re looking at all of that [again].”

Later that same month, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment CEO Bill Rouhana said that as studios seek to maximize financial opportunities across original movies, the legacy home entertainment market cannot be ignored. “As [the studios] realize this, we stand to benefit because we are an important participant in the window, both in physical DVDs and TVOD,”
Rouhana said.

It’s not surprising, then, that studios are putting more muscle into their traditional home entertainment marketing campaigns. Even Disney, which has been throwing money into its Disney+ streaming service, took a step back last January with a gala influencer event in Los Angeles celebrating the Blu-ray Disc release of The Menu.

For the fifth year, Media Play News is honoring the top studio marketing campaigns of the past year (April 2022 through March 2023) and the teams that made them happen.

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Paramount Home Entertainment

Top Gun: Maverick

 

Produced by Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films,
Top Gun: Maverick was a record-breaking box office success as well as the best-selling digital release of all time and a top disc release of the year.

The film’s home release flight took off on Aug. 23, 2022, via digital sellthrough, gained altitude Sept. 20 on video-on-demand, and reached Mach-10 on Nov. 1 on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD.

As the first film in history to be No. 1 at the box office on both Memorial Day and Labor Day, Top Gun: Maverick was positioned as the year’s biggest movie event. The home entertainment campaign kicked off with dual messaging inviting audiences to “see it again in theaters” and “bring it home on digital,” with incredible bonus content. For those who wanted to take their Top Gun experience to the next level, a collectible two-movie Steelbook gift set was timed for the holiday season. This special edition included exclusive artwork and collectible items.

The film’s marketing campaign reached a broad audience and successfully converted new, younger audiences to digital and physical consumers. It included a massive TV ad blitz, with wide coverage in sports, on prime-time TV, and late-night TV. On cable networks, Paramount ran spots on many high-profile originals. Other elements included a highly visible and creative digital media campaign as well as outdoor signage in prime locations.

The campaign was focused on igniting excitement for younger audiences through realistic jet-flying action and the star power of Tom Cruise, while nodding to nostalgia by highlighting beloved characters from the original film. The strategy pushed the limits with immersive and engaging content, carefully orchestrated with bespoke creative and a PR campaign that maximized the cast and also highlighted the stunts by taking journalists and influencers up in real planes to dogfight and perform daredevil maneuvers such as those seen in the film.

To promote ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ Paramount’s marketing team took journalists and influencers up in real planes to dogfight and perform daredevil maneuvers such as those seen in the film. Shown here is ‘Media Play News’ publisher Thomas K. Arnold.

The multi-faceted promotional campaign for Top Gun: Maverick included live events and targeted promotional partnerships, including a music festival integration, a partnership with a luxury fitness brand, and a partnership with a high-profile volleyball tournament. One standout event was the AutoTrader Echopark Automotive 500, part of the NASCAR Cup Series at the Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas. Fans were thrilled to see stars Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez and Lewis Pullman as co-Grand Marshals, kicking off the day with a ride in a Camaro pace car, followed by live interviews.

In collaboration with full service agency MAP360 Collective, Paramount delivered the ultimate fan experience at the event, unleashing a Top Gun: Maverick-branded truck loaded with AV content, a photo booth, giveaways, and a geo-targeted Snapchat AR lens. The campaign also included projecting AV content on the world’s largest HD LED video board, the “Big Hoss,” and a prime TV spot during the race for home viewers, plus a strategic social media presence to extend the reach of the campaign.

The marketing team employed innovative social amplification tactics throughout the campaign to engage fans across various online platforms, including interactive behind-the-scenes content, an extensive influencer program and user-generated content to further extend reach. The Top Gun: Maverick NASCAR event earned the Home Entertainment Media Play Award for Best Marketing Initiative.

The Paramount Home Entertainment marketing team:

  • Michele Bell, EVP, Worldwide Creative Services,
    Michele Bell

    oversees all of the division’s product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising. Bell is known for navigating the ever-changing home entertainment landscape with creative solutions that reach a wide range of consumers across traditional retailers and emerging digital platforms. Her focus is on developing compelling, persuasive, and disruptive creative assets that demand attention and drive consumer sales. Bell has more than 20 years of home entertainment marketing experience.

  • Alanna Powers, SVP, Worldwide Marketing, spearheads the division’s global marketing strategies, product development, and management of all feature-length new releases, library titles and acquisitions.
  • Michele Rumain, VP, Media, oversees domestic home entertainment media planning for new-release, catalog, acquisitions and television product.
  • Adrianna Krikl, Executive Director, Worldwide Creative Services, leads creative for new releases, catalog and television campaigns, including product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising.
  • Lin Park, Executive Director, Global Digital Marketing, leads the division’s global digital and social marketing strategies, creating impactful campaigns for feature-length new releases, library titles, acquisitions and TV series.
  • Dashiell Winston, Senior Manager, Global Digital Marketing, leads the division’s global digital and social marketing strategies, creating impactful campaigns for feature-length new releases, library titles, acquisitions and TV series.
  • Eddie Medranda, Executive Director, Global Brand Marketing, oversees global marketing and product strategy for new-release titles on digital and physical.
  • Rebecca Johnson, Senior Manager, Global Brand Marketing, oversees global marketing and product strategy for new-release titles on digital and physical.

The PR team that worked on Top Gun: Maverick consisted of Kirsten Anderson, Pamela Grant, Alan Meier, Deborah Peters, Sharon Ramirez and Deborah Thompson. Also playing an integral part in the campaign were Melinda Froelich in International Marketing, and Hilarie Hildebrandt in Customer Marketing.

 

 

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Jurassic World Dominion

 

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment debuted the billion-dollar global box office blockbuster Jurassic World Dominion for home viewing with a progressive rollout of premium and traditional window offerings, following its chart-topping domestic theatrical release.

Leveraging the awareness and excitement generated by the massive theatrical campaign, UPHE designed a holistic, breakthrough in-home marketing campaign, creating strategic pulse points to drive consumer excitement from the premium window launch through the complete release cycle.

Beginning with the premium window and embraced widely by the industry’s top digital retailers, Universal drove a sweeping national advertising campaign across broadcast, digital and social media that powered messaging to consumers that the event film of the summer was now available straight from theaters into their homes, for the first time ever.

As the film transitioned to the traditional home entertainment window, the marketing campaign further progressed, training its focus on effectively differentiating from the premium release. Delivering a standout collectible offering, UPHE leaned heavily into the value of ownership with an all-new, highly anticipated extended edition that included 14 additional minutes of the film, an alternate opening and, of course, more dinosaurs.

Propelled by a comprehensive, five-week media flight that generated more than 520 million impressions across linear and digital, the traditional campaign launched with a coordinated social roadblock announcing the extended edition, anchored by posts from the film’s Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, BD Wong, Sam Neil, Dichen Lachman, Kristoffer Polaha, Isabella Sermon, DeWanda Wise, John Nolan, David Vickery and director Colin Trevorrow. The initiative resulted in the announcement trending on Twitter.

Standout publicity initiatives were punctuated by a global press and influencer event in Malta, a key filming location in the film. Domestic and international attendees traveled to the island destination to take part in a multi-layered, immersive local experience with the film’s writer-director, Colin Trevorrow, and actors Bryce Dallas Howard and DeWanda Wise, initiating fresh content and comprehensive press and social coverage that generated millions of impressions around the world for the home entertainment release.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment hosted a global ‘Jurassic World Dominion’ publicity event in Malta attended by (L-R) stars DeWanda Wise and Bryce Dallas Howard, and director Colin Trevorrow.

Other complementary high-impact PR tactics included additional talent interview support from Dichen Lachman, BD Wong, John Nolan and David Vicke, as well as high-profile media placements leveraging the exclusive bonus content.

In addition, UPHE directly engaged its community of movie fans on its Universal All Access rewards site with a live-hosted trivia night that featured Jeff Goldblum.

Amplifying further awareness, the campaign was buoyed by several national promotional partnerships, including a collaboration with Trigger and Niantic to create the Jurassic World Dominion DinoTracker app — a mixed-reality, AR app-based experience bringing dinosaurs into the real world — and a custom-branded promotional sweepstakes with Xbox, the popular video game console from Microsoft.

Finally, event-level merchandising drove massive attention to the release across national digital and physical retailers, with multi-week-long premium placements, including a trailblazing activation with Amazon Prime Video X-Ray that featured the release’s captivating bonus extras — the first such partnership for UPHE with Amazon Prime Video X-Ray.

The Universal Pictures Home Entertainment marketing team:

  • Hilary Hoffman, EVP, Global Marketing, oversees
    Hilary J. Hoffman

    strategic marketing for Universal and its distributed lines worldwide across feature film new-release, library and TV properties. Her responsibilities encompass defining go-to-market strategies and the company’s overall approach for consumer engagement, including developing and leveraging new platforms and technologies as well as direct-to-consumer initiatives to drive profitable growth. She is responsible for creative, digital content, retail marketing, media, digital marketing, publicity and consumer insights and has developed cross-divisional efforts within Comcast/NBCUniversal, resulting in increased exposure for key releases. Her focus on the digital space is ongoing with marketing initiatives across paid, owned and earned platforms that improve targeting and direct-to-consumer outreach. Additionally, she serves as UPHE’s key representative on priority industry initiatives, with a particular focus on evolving new and emerging technologies into revenue generating businesses.

  • Pam Blum, SVP, Global Marketing, oversees creative marketing services and the development of value-added content for the studio’s digital and physical releases on a worldwide basis. Her responsibilities also extend to include maximizing opportunities cross-divisionally within NBC Universal.
  • Lea Porteneuve, SVP, Global Publicity & Communications, oversees global business, technology and executive communications for UPHE as well as leads strategy and advancement of brand-defining publicity initiatives in support of the studio’s digital and physical in-home offerings around the world.
  • Denise Haro, SVP, Global Consumer Insights & Strategy, oversees business analytics, focusing on external market analytics, trend analysis, and long-term outlook. She also manages UPHE’s consumer insights and research. She is focused on aligning global commercial strategy around product, window, messaging, and innovation founded in business and consumer insights. Throughout her tenure, she has been influential in shaping company strategy.
  • Sandy Choi, SVP, Global Brand Marketing & North America Partnerships, manages worldwide marketing for Focus Features’ home entertainment new-release slate as well as all of UPHE’s North American third-party partner relationships. Additionally, for all of UPHE’s distribution partners, she oversees the development and execution of all marketing campaigns across both physical and digital platforms and leads the cross-functional team responsible for the overall business.
  • Stephanie Lutjens, SVP, Global Brand Marketing, spearheads global strategic marketing, product development and management of all new-release titles from Universal Pictures, Illumination and DreamWorks Animation, in addition to the studio’s extensive catalog and television library. She also manages worldwide home entertainment promotions.
  • Ted Chi, SVP, Digital Marketing and Media Strategy, leads the team responsible for all aspects of digital marketing, including the strategy and execution of paid media, social, influencers and e-mail marketing with an emphasis on data and innovation.
  • Darris Sherman, SVP, Domestic Account Management & Customer Marketing, Digital Distribution, is responsible for maximizing Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s transactional film and television digital (premium, sellthrough, VOD) revenues. He leads the go-to market strategy, business portfolio and corresponding marketing and merchandising efforts with UPHE’s retail partners throughout the United States and Canada.

 

 

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment

Elvis

 

The home entertainment marketing campaign for director Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis began in August 2022 and continued through September. A multi-faceted marketing campaign was implemented to continue the film’s momentum into the digital and physical sales windows. The Warner Bros. Discovery home entertainment marketing team, working closely with the Warner Bros. Pictures teams responsible for the theatrical launch of the film, implemented multiple strategies to optimize the early premium digital ownership and rental window in August and the physical sales window featuring 4K UHD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD offerings in September.

Beginning with the development of key art, the creation of packaging built upon the theatrical one sheets to highlight Austin Butler’s iconic portrayal of Elvis Presley. The four U.S. product offerings (digital, 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD) — along with a two-film collection including Elvis and another Luhrmann film, 2013’s The Great Gatsby — used close-up imagery of Butler. International key art utilized the powerful Elvis title treatment, an alternate take on imagery for markets where Butler and Elvis Presley were not as widely known.

Compelling bonus content was created for the digital and physical product offerings, including in-depth interviews with Luhrmann and his filmmaking team; Butler’s training to perform Elvis’ songs and portray the legend; a focused look at costume designer Catherine Martin’s process to design Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s unique look and style through multiple decades; and an exploration into the re-creation of Elvis Presley’s quintessential Memphis and Las Vegas homes in Australia, featuring interviews with Luhrmann, Martin and others from the filmmaking team.

TV spots that highlighted Butler, the music and iconic moments from the film, as well as displayed advertising assets leveraging the main key art, were created to run across a two-month-long media campaign to support the premium digital and 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD release windows. The campaign utilized full-funnel tactics to reach broad audiences and core Elvis fans alike to drive awareness, purchase intent, and sales for all home entertainment formats. It spanned across digital and broadcast/linear
platforms that drove an estimated 75 million impressions.

As part of the social media campaign for Elvis, a range of social assets were created that highlighted different aspects of Elvis Presley’s life.

Additionally, behind-the-scenes footage was created of Butler as he transformed into Elvis for the movie. WBD marketers also worked closely with director Luhrmann and his team to ensure that the social assets were aligned with his creative vision for the movie.

The home entertainment window for the film coincided with Elvis Week at Graceland, an annual celebration where fans from around the world gather in Memphis. Partnering with Graceland and the Elvis Presley Estate, Warner Bros. Discovery placed ads for the home entertainment offerings in the official event guide, developed 30-second pre-roll spots to run during the nightly screenings of Elvis Presley films in the Graceland theater, and coordinated with Graceland to sell Elvis 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD product on site.

The marketing team that worked on Elvis consisted of Kristina Fugate, Thomas Desage, Stella Kim, Allene Kim, Rebecca Villagomez, Lindsay Feng, Jason Gray, David Miller, Mireille Wello, Corey Benick, Sandy He, Traci Carroll, Kim King, Bonnie Wintringham, Casey Estevez, Kaiti Jorgensen, Cindy Parker, Emily Zalenski, Stuart Herriott, Michael Foell, Chris Baldwin, My-lan Beauford, Michele Brownson, Adriana Monsalve, Tom Kim, Danielle Dunn, Jack Walker, Stephen Simyak, Adrian Atkins Doyle, Aria Spence, Deanna Lee, Dorretha Bennem, Lynette Jones and Jowel Gastelum.

 

House of the Dragon: Season 1

 

The “Game of Thrones” prequel “House of the Dragon” debuted on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022, to the largest audience for any original new series in the history of HBO. To keep the momentum of the show going and to target the holiday gifting season, the marketing team set an ambitious release date of Dec. 20, 2022, just two months after the show’s season finale.

House of the Dragon: The Complete First Season was released on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD, with each format having a different iconic key art with stunning special finishes. There was also a Limited Collector’s Edition with exclusive artwork in Steelbook packaging. All formats included more than one hour of bonus features, with two exclusive featurettes delving deeper into the world of Westeros and the return to the Seven Kingdoms, reflecting on the legacy of “Game of Thrones” and its connection to “House of the Dragon.”

The release was supported by a two-week national paid media campaign across online platforms including a strong push across the HBO, “Game of Thrones” and “House of the Dragons” social channels. To continue raising awareness of the franchise, promotional programs were run across physical and digital formats including “House of the Dragon” branded gift cards redeemable across the Vudu store, a “House of the Dragon” branded room at Roku that included “Game of Thrones” home entertainment bonus features, plus a six-month partnership with the American Red Cross.

In addition to a global home entertainment announce two days after the season finale, the publicity team secured participation in the first official “Game of Thrones” convention held in Los Angeles in December.

“House of the Dragon” season one cast members Paddy Considine (King Vaserys Targaryen), Steve Toussaint (Lord Corlys “The Sea Snake” Velaryon) and Matthew Needham (Larys Strong) attended the convention and promoted the home entertainment release during their panels. A sneak peek of the exclusive bonus feature “Return to the Seven Kingdoms” was shown to fans ahead of Considine’s panel. And Needham took time to do interviews with key media outlets from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan.

The marketing team that worked on House of the Dragon: Season 1 included Mary Ellen Thomas, Tina DePass Lujan, Lourdes Munoz, Tala Beigi, Karen Gilman, My-lan Beauford, Alice Calamar, Kevin Mason, Madeline Bailey, Lance Murakami, Swapnil Patel, Damian McArdle, Sandra Kim, Marina Fletcher, Maria Hernandez, Sydney Bernardo, Adrian Atkins Doyle and Aria Spence.

 

 

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Uncharted

 

Based on the popular PlayStation video game franchise by Naughty Dog, Uncharted achieved a healthy theatrical performance of $149 million at the domestic box office, providing a strong foundation for home entertainment.

Key to the marketing campaign was fresh and bespoke content. Clips from the bonus materials were strategically released. Amassing more than 22 million impressions at announce, a sizzle reel highlighting more than an hour of bonus features — including deleted and extended scenes — was released to press and social media channels.

Multiple custom assets, featuring talent Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, generated millions of impressions. An influencer program comprised of TikTok buddy duos, parent influencers and dad meme accounts evangelized the release with custom content to millions of followers.

As part of the publicity campaign, scavenger hunt puzzle mailers were sent out to both press and influencers, with a reach of more than 19 million. A themed escape room experience, featuring special guest Terry Crews, was executed with TikTok and Instagram influencers, reaching more than 16 million viewers.

Sony Pictures’ marketing team developed a themed escape room experience for ‘Uncharted’ with TikTok and Instagram influencers, reaching more than 16 million and featuring special guest Terry Crews.

An extensive media campaign was activated across sports, prime-time, network, cable, CTV and digital programming, surrounding co-viewing environments that reached both parents and kids with TV/digital outlets and kids’ gaming platforms.

Custom merchandising takeovers developed by the marketing team, along with prime placements at digital and physical retailers, left no one unaware that the movie was available to own.

Finally, one of the most impactful activations was a first-of-its-kind program put together with PlayStation. An exclusive piece of content was developed to highlight the Easter eggs in the movie that were nods to the video game. This debuted on the PlayStation 4 and 5 platforms in nine countries across the globe, in partnership with Prime Video. The exclusive content piece amassed more than 28 million impressions.

The marketing team that worked on Uncharted included Lexine Wong, Jennifer Curtis, Katie Ullrich, Gregg Shack, Joe Burg, Derek Mihalik, April Florentino, Eric Kent, Amy Tesser-Marquez, Alex Andujar, Tara Rais, Paulo Kim, Jane Mohon, Christine Galloway, Andie Wheatley, Diana Cheng, Doug Momii, April Cozart, Tony Arias and Courtney Yeh.

 

 

Lionsgate

Clerks III

 

Best Buy’s ‘Clerks III’ 4K Steelbook

Clerks III tapped into the same fan base that made director Kevin Smith’s original 1994 ode to slackers, Clerks, a true cult classic.

The original Clerks is about a day in the lives of two convenience-store clerks named Dante and Randal as they bug customers, banter about movies, and engage in stunts such as playing hockey on the store roof. It is based on director Smith’s real-life experiences in the convenience and video stores where he worked in real life prior to finding fame in Hollywood. In Clerks III, after Randal suffers a heart attack, he enlists Dante and hangers-on Elias, Jay and Silent Bob to make a movie about the convenience store that started it all.

Clerks III was released theatrically in September 2022, with a digital release the following month and a Blu-ray Disc and DVD release in December. Talent continued to promote the film, across both social and traditional media channels, as it made its way out of theaters and into homes, with continued PR hits in both the United States and the United Kingdom as well as longer-form social media pieces leading up to the disc release to sustain consumer interest.

To drive advance sales at Walmart, Lionsgate teamed with the nation’s largest retailer on an exclusive Clerks III bundle that included both the Blu-ray Disc and a T-shirt. The exclusive combo quickly sold out, propelled by chatter on Reddit.

For Best Buy, Lionsgate created a highly collectible Steelbook, which was praised by fans for its beautiful design and vibrant colors, and was the only way for fans to obtain a 4K disc of the film in the United States.

But the true prize for devoted fans of the franchise was the hours of bonus features created specifically for the packaged-media release, including an audio commentary with writer-director Smith and actors Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Trevor Fehrman and Austin Zajur; a documentary on the making of the film; deleted scenes; and a featurette on the franchise’s history called “We’re Not Even Supposed to Be Here Today: 3 Decades of Clerks.” The package won Best Extras/Bonus Material at the Home Entertainment Media Play Awards.

The marketing team that executed the home release campaign for Clerks III included Amelia Rogers, Megan Mell, McKenzie Smith, Gray Lindsey, Tiffany Olivares, Alex Klenert, Aaron Gershman, Nate Teresi, Patrick Gallagher, Nancy Julson, Karolina Plaza, Lisa Stephenson, Maria Chung, Sherry Voong, Joyce Hsu and Maria Donoso.

 

 

Walt Disney Home Entertainment

The Menu

 

Part satire, part horror, The Menu was a film that seemed to invite an element of wit and invention for its home entertainment campaign. Accordingly, the release was announced in a special bespoke press statement designed to look like a Michelin Star restaurant menu.

Deleted scenes and bonus clips were shared with select outlets to generate further interest for the home entertainment release, and many of the cast members, including star Anya Taylor-Joy (with more than 9 million followers on Instagram), agreed to post their support on social media.

Key press and influencers then received a lavish artisan chocolate skull kit designed by Adam Turoni, owner of the renowned Chocolat in Savannah, and a consultant on the film. The kit encouraged massive shares on social and in media coverage.

Finally, the physical release was celebrated with a Blu-ray Disc event at the Blockbuster Pop Up on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, where guests were served burgers and fries (by Irv’s Burgers), menu items that played an important role in the film, with cocktails inspired by the film’s main characters and, of course, s’mores for dessert. Press and influencers got to feel as though they were hanging out at a 1990s video store, complete with neon “Be Kind, Rewind” signs and menus printed on vintage Blockbuster cassette cases. The event generated hundreds of press stories and social coverage and the campaign resulted in 122 million estimated press and social media impressions.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness came to home entertainment only seven weeks after its hugely successful theatrical release. The Disney marketing team needed to capitalize on the success of the film while finding new ways to engage public attention and make the case for ownership.

The team leaned into three key strategies: First, highlight the significance of the title as the key film that expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the multiverse. Second, drive the collectability by engaging core Marvel fans. And, lastly, “Celebrate the Strange” with fan activations that highlighted the mind-bending alternate realities suggested in the film.

Collectability was emphasized early, with the exclusive artwork created for Best Buy, Target and Walmart all used to generate media coverage. The bonus content also was utilized, with select clips and previously unseen cast footage revealed on more than half a dozen mainstream and multicultural press outlets in stories that stressed the must-own and universe-expanding nature of the release.

With many of the established main cast having recently made multiple press appearances on behalf of the theatrical release, the home entertainment team continued their campaign by focusing on new Avenger “America Chavez,” played by Xochiti Gomez. The actress spoke eloquently and passionately to mainstream and multicultural press about her character’s roots, the increasing emergence of strong female superheroes and the limitless potential for a new wave of stories created by the multiverse.

Next, it was time to “Celebrate the Strange.” The home entertainment team reached out to Bruce Campbell, a frequent collaborator of director Sam Raimi, who had a cameo appearance in the film as the “Pizza Poppa,” the hilarious pizza purveyor from Universe-838. Knowing that San Diego Comic-Con International would take place just before the release of the Blu-ray and DVD, and that Campbell was a hugely popular figure with attendees, they created an opportunity for attendees to experience the multiverse in person with “Pop-A-Poppa” — an entertaining “Whack-A-Mole” type game built into a replica Pizza Poppa cart from the film. Participants won prizes and entered a new “reality” with themed photo opportunities. Campbell was also on hand to pose for photos with fans. All of this generated huge media interest and social media coverage.

For San Diego Comic-Con, Disney created an opportunity for attendees to experience the multiverse in person with “Pop-A-Poppa” — an entertaining “Whack-A-Mole” type game centered around “Pizza Poppa,” the hilarious pizza purveyor from Universe-838 played by Bruce Campbell.

Campbell also participated in multiple press interviews to promote the film, while his appearance in the convention center hall was eventized by creating a custom, all-new “Pizza Poppa” character poster and social creative assets, which included home entertainment messaging amplified across the Marvel Studios and Doctor Strange social channels, resulting in millions of views and engagement. Campbell also participated in an Instagram takeover of the Doctor Strange Official account to give fans at home an insider’s look at Comic-Con.

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Value at the Box

The big studios aren’t the only ones who are honing their marketing chops in the hopes of furthering a transactional home entertainment resurgence. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is hoping the wealth of big theatrical films coming out this year will boost business at its 32,000 Redbox disc-rental kiosks when those movies are released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. In the meantime, the company has been stepping up its efforts to promote its kiosks as an affordable alternative to the high cost of maintaining multiple streaming subscriptions.

The Redbox Value Menu campaign launched in August 2022, the same month Chicken Soup acquired Redbox. The campaign is inspired by the fast-food industry’s dollar “value” menus. It is centered on $1 and $2 rental deals, which are refreshed every month and accompanied by limited-time, sometimes exclusive, “Hot Deal” offers on select new-release and catalog titles available digitally through the Redbox On Demand TVOD service.

With rising inflation, Redbox says, the campaign has become even more relevant as customers are seeking out deals and ways to save money.

Stickers on the kiosks serve as billboards and feature a QR code that scans to the Value Menu hub on the website. Ongoing emails, app push notifications and text messages inform customers of the latest deals. Digital placements on the Web, app and social media promote the campaign as well.

Since the campaign launched, rental and revenue for physical titles have exceeded forecasts by double digits, Redbox says. — Stephanie Prange

Power Marketing 2022: Driving It Home

With nearly 80% of consumer spending on home entertainment now going toward multiple SVOD subscriptions, studio marketers are working harder than ever to drive transactional sales of movies and shows, both physical and digital.

Their overarching goal is to remind consumers that it is still possible to buy (and rent) movies and shows individually, and not just as part of an all-you-can-watch monthly subscription plan. They also need to clearly demonstrate the benefits of ownership, including better quality, a much-wider selection of product, and the reassurance that once you buy something, it’s yours and unlikely to disappear one day, as so many of our favorite movies and shows have vanished without a trace from Netflix.

For the fourth year, Media Play News is honoring the top studio marketing campaigns of the past year (April 2021 through March 2022), and the teams that made them happen.

Thomas K. Arnold: Craig and the Camel May Be Gone, But Transactional Marketing Still Going Strong

The Power Campaigns

■ F9: The Fast Saga
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
UPHE released the $726 million global theatrical blockbuster F9 in home with a premium rental offering just five weeks after the film’s chart-topping run at the box office. Supported widely by digital retail partners and broad national advertising, the PVOD marketing campaign drove home messaging to consumers that the event film was coming straight from theaters into their homes for the first time ever.

As the title transitioned into the traditional home entertainment window, the campaign trained its focus on effectively differentiating from the PVOD release. Delivering a standout collectible offering, UPHE leaned heavily into the value of ownership with an all-new, highly anticipated director’s cut.
Leveraging the film’s massive star power and worldwide franchise appeal, UPHE focused on communicating the exceptional value proposition for this offering by fashioning a full-scale breakthrough marketing campaign designed to further entice and engage fans with two versions of the film and exclusive bonus content with even more spectacular action.

Elevated to the “must-own event of the year,” the campaign advanced with a far-reaching social announce push, supported in part by the film’s own megastars, Vin Diesel and Chris (Ludacris) Bridges, who shared custom content on their Instagram accounts, reaching a combined total of more than 92 million followers.

Publicity efforts were also expansive, anchored by F9 Fest, an immersive, multi-layered experience for domestic, international and multi-cultural press, influencers and fans. Marking a highly awaited return to in-person events since the start of the pandemic, the Fest drew attendees inside the world of F9 with such activities as a press interviews with director Justin Lin, cast members including Jordana Brewster, stunt coordinators, VFX leads and the costume designer; a rooftop zipline stunt experience inspired by the film; an F9 Museum featuring vehicles, costumes and props; an exclusive screening of F9: The Director’s Cut; multiple custom photo ops; and more.

These efforts were bolstered by impactful organic social media, which captured nearly 40 pieces of original content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, as well as a targeted influencer program and specially hosted trivia nights on UPHE’s own All Access Rewards loyalty channel that were livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube across three separate nights. Cumulative reach across these efforts topped 30 million impressions.

Finally, the campaign was complemented by huge media support across network, cable and digital, resulting in a combined 770 million impressions, and was rounded out by top placements across both digital and physical retail.

■ Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Released in theaters right before Thanksgiving, the home entertainment release in January/February capitalized on the height of awareness and allowed families, who were still leery of going to the theater, to enjoy the film sooner at home.

The global marketing team positioned the ‘PG-13’-rated Ghostbusters: Afterlife as both the follow-up to the franchise that fans had been waiting for and a fun family movie. The team focused on a broad, dual-pronged campaign with focused hits.

Media support included high-profile sports and prime hits. The social media team leaned into both fan content — highlighting Easter eggs and Ghostbusters gadgets — and content targeted toward families, including a “movie night” influencer campaign.

Press opportunities were robust, as many members of the cast did broadcast and radio interviews in support of the home entertainment release. And two Twitter watch parties — planned to the digital release and the physical release, with parent bloggers and an editorial outlet — allowed fans and families alike to join in and watch the movie together.

The immediacy of the home entertainment release, along with this strong, dual-pronged campaign approach, allowed for a very successful result.

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■ The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Steelbook Collection
Lionsgate

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the blockbuster first film in the “Hunger Games” franchise, Lionsgate released a commemorative 4K + BD + Digital Steelbook featuring all four movies in collectible packaging, marketed as The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Steelbook Collection.

Best Buy’s ‘The Hunger Games’ 4K Steelbook Collection

The Lionsgate creative team worked with 10 female artists across the globe to create stunning illustrations of Katniss Everdeen and hand-drawn illustrations of iconic quotes from the franchise. The Steelbook collection announcement received positive feedback on social media and in the press.
Lionsgate followed the announcement with a 10-day organic social campaign highlighting the Steelbook artwork. Lionsgate utilized Instagram’s “Collab” feature to amplify reach and total engagement by cross-posting on the Lionsgate Brand accounts and the “Hunger Games” accounts.

Additionally, in celebration of Women’s History Month, Lionsgate’s production team created and released a 20-minute documentary, titled Women on Fire — The Artists of The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Steelbook Collection about the creation of the collection and the incredible female artists behind it: Flore Maquin, Ise Ananphada, Alice X. Zhang, Tula Lotay, Paige Reynolds, Aracely Muñoz, Gemma O’Brien, Lauren Hom, Meni Chatzipanagiotou and Gia Graham.

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■ The Godfather: 50th Anniversary
Paramount Home Entertainment

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award-winning masterpiece The Godfather, Paramount and Coppola’s production company undertook a painstaking restoration of all three films in preparation for a limited theatrical run and a first-ever 4K Ultra HD release.

Paramount Home Entertainment launched a year-long campaign to celebrate the landmark anniversary and engage longtime fans while also reaching new generations through unique creative executions, strategic partnerships, multiple publicity events, targeted media and social activations.

The campaign kicked off with a new trailer launch followed by a gala street-naming ceremony on the Paramount lot for Francis Ford Coppola. The event included a red-carpet premiere with members of the cast in advance of the global theatrical re-release in the United States and 18 additional territories.

To generate additional publicity timed to the 4K Ultra HD release, Coppola was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a screening was held at the new Academy Museum. To entice fans, the product offering included a Limited Collector’s Edition with a hardcover coffee table book, portrait art prints, and extensive new and legacy bonus content.

Efforts culminated on the Sunday following street date in a special celebratory moment during the Academy Awards, which featured an introduction by Sean “Diddy” Combs and appearances by Coppola, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. In addition to massive publicity around each event, extensive coverage was secured worldwide in hundreds of top outlets through cast interviews, exclusive clip debuts, rare behind-the-scenes photos and more, ultimately generating more than half-a-billion impressions.

(L-R): Francis Ford Coppola, James Caan and Talia Shire discuss ‘The Godfather’ at a 50th anniversary screening at Paramount Studios Feb. 22, 2022.

Media support across broadcast, digital and print included a stand-out billboard in New York’s Times Square and spots promoting the home entertainment release appeared during Paramount Network’s airing of The Godfather Trilogy. Social media amplified all event coverage and created custom content across title and studio channels throughout the campaign to reach a wide array of audiences.

The studio will continue to celebrate the legacy of The Godfather with a dedicated podcast in the summer and a special exhibit at the Academy Museum in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, the global marketing efforts have resulted in a campaign befitting one of the greatest films in cinematic history.

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■ Spider-Man: No Way Home
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

As the entire world enthusiastically embraced the movie in theaters with more than $1.8 billion in box office revenue, the home entertainment campaign started out with a huge bang.

The marketing team launched a global announce on Feb. 23, aligning in key markets all over the world, with a re-creation of the famous “Pointing Spider-Men” meme, featuring Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Launched on social media platforms across Sony, Spider-Man, Marvel and Tom Holland’s profiles, the meme set the internet on fire, climbing up to be the No. 6 top-performing Instagram post of all time and getting unprecedented press pickup with more than 2.2 billion impressions.

As part of the announce, a sizzle reel highlighting more than 80 minutes of bonus features — including a gag reel, Easter eggs and more of the three Spideys — was released to press and social media channels, amassing more than 4 million views in just one day.

Following the announce, retailers kicked off a “countdown” campaign sale, featuring the entire franchise of “Spider-Man” movies, supported by custom merchandising, CRM, and social developed by the marketing team.

Going into the digital release, key to the marketing campaign was fresh and bespoke content. From a publicity perspective, clips from the bonus materials were strategically released. Two custom assets led by the content and digital marketing teams, “Making of the Meme” and “The Amazing Peter #3,” an insights-based answer to social chatter, generated over 4 million and 8 million views, respectively.

Behind the scenes of Spider-Man: No Way Home (photo courtesy of Sony Pictures)

The media team assembled a massive campaign, activating support across premiere placements in sports, prime, network, cable, CTV and digital programming. They struck up partnerships with sports influencers George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers and Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Kittle created a custom post for his 1.3 million followers on Instagram and Twitter, generating 307,000 IG infeed views and 44,000 Twitter views in one day. Morant filmed a custom 30-second promo, queuing significant social engagement and speculation from fans and generating more than 4 million views in one week.

Custom merchandising takeovers developed by the marketing team, along with prime placements, left no one unaware that the movie was available to own.

To sustain the marketing momentum in the digital release window, the global marketing team launched a watch party, with an introduction by Tom Holland and promoted by influencers receiving “movie night” kits, as well as social support from Marvel and promotional partners.

Prize packs were also given to a limited number of lucky participants.
With a focus on fresh and bespoke, insights-based content, this campaign generated record-shattering results.

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■ Smallville: The Complete Series
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

The 20th anniversary of the premiere of “Smallville” on CW was Oct. 16, 2021. To celebrate this milestone, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment released Smallville: The Complete Series on Blu-ray Disc for the very first time just three days later, on Oct. 19. New packaging with 20th anniversary key art was designed for this boxed set, which includes 40 Blu-ray Discs containing all 218 episodes plus two additional DVDs featuring more than 28 hours of previously released bonus content.

The anniversary date fell on the same day as DC FanDome 2021.To capitalize on this fortuitous timing, a “surprise and delight” campaign was developed, timed to a cast reunion during the big DC virtual event. A new trailer kicked off the reunion, and moderator Tiffany Smith interviewed Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum while messages from series actors, including Kristin Kreuk, John Glover, Justin Hartley, James Marsters and many others, were played throughout the nine-minute segment. A longer 20-minute extended reunion video was released on the WBHE YouTube page at the conclusion of the DC FanDome segment, racking up more than 715,000 views. A media blast about the extended cut was sent to the press and talent touted it on their socials.

Welling, Rosenbaum and Kreuk also participated in interviews with top-tier and genre outlets including Yahoo!, EW.com, ET Online, TV Line, TV Insider, IGN, Collider and many more. Interviews were embargoed until after DC FanDome and generated more than 42 million impressions.

A two-week paid media flight began immediately following DC FanDome. Ads were posted on the WBHE Facebook and Instagram pages. At retail, the title was prioritized within the Amazon Always on non-branded ads surrounding the Blu-ray Disc release.

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■ Jungle Cruise
Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

Just one month after Jungle Cruise arrived in theaters — and simultaneously on Disney+ with Premier Access — the In-Home team made the case for ownership, and helped ensure a successful in-home release across multiple windows.

They began a campaign aimed at families with kids 14 and under, as well as multicultural opportunities with the Black and African-American, AAPI and LGBTQ+ audiences. Marketing strategies included leaning into the Disney brand and paying homage to the theme park ride that inspired the movie in order to engage with families and Disneyphiles.

With the main cast all having made multiple press appearance recently, the In-Home team, while still embracing the playful banter between stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, pivoted to other creative opportunities. One emphasized the thrilling elements that brought the film to life, including the animals in the Amazon Rainforest. Another differentiation of the in-home push was collectability messaging. Bonus clips and previously unseen footage of the cast were utilized for a series of press exclusives that stressed the must-own nature of the release. As a result, the title attained digital and physical sales well above target.

Campaign highlights included partnering with DisneyBounders — the fashion-forward way for fans to show their love for Disney. Instead of wearing full-on costumes as cosplayers do, DisneyBounders dress up in stylish, everyday outfits (known as DisneyBounds) that are inspired by a particular character. A special Jungle Cruise-themed content day was created at Disney World that provided the perfect platform for key influencers to generate content that created millions of impressions.

‘Jungle Cruise’-themed DisneyBounders at Disney World

A partnership with Trader Joe’s List, the popular social channel that is known for its Trader Joe’s shopping lists, reviews and recipes, also paid dividends. Trader Joe’s List went live on street date for a Jungle Cruise-themed haul at the store, and then created content inspired by the film, including multiple story slides, one giveaway post, and a video post on Instagram and YouTube, reaching the channel’s 1.7 million followers numerous times.

Finally, the October release date offered a few more opportunities. Walt Disney World celebrated its 50th anniversary that month and gift bags were created for the events, which included a digital code for Jungle Cruise. And, in celebration of Halloween, the In-Home team partnered with popular dog influencers and influencers with dogs to share Jungle Cruise-themed content tied to the holiday. To get the influencers in the spooky spirit, they were each sent a themed package, including a dog costume inspired by an animal found in the Amazon, a pumpkin hide-and-seek plush and Amazon-themed animal toys, along with boo-bites snacks and hats for the “paw-rents” to dress up, too. Each influencer also received a Jungle Cruise Boo-ray. The result was an additional 2.6 million estimated impressions.

These varied and inventive approaches not only saw overall sales targets exceeded, but also illustrated that a successful in-home release was possible across multiple windows even with a compressed timeline.

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■ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: 20th Anniversary
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

November 2021 marked the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of the beloved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first film in the tremendously successful film franchise featuring eight Harry Potter films.

The Warner Bros. Home Entertainment marketing team — as managers of the Wizarding World franchise for home entertainment and custodians of its ongoing film lifecycle — worked hand-in-hand with WB’s cross-functional teams to initiate a strategy to celebrate this momentous occasion, secured buy-in from key stakeholders, and supported a year-long, global, enterprise-wide effort.

WBHE commissioned and released Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Magical Movie Mode on digital and physical — a whole new way to experience the film with pop-up commentary from director Chris Columbus, trivia, fun facts, deleted scenes and much more.

WBHE also developed a full suite of creative assets that was shared across all teams, divisions and partners globally via turnkey toolkits that maintained a consistent look and feel. These assets included hero artwork that re-imagined the original theatrical one-sheet, an accompanying line look across all Wizarding World films including Fantastic Beasts, refreshed trailers and spots, a full year of social media assets, and a printable activity packet to accompany movie viewings across various platforms, whether fans chose to watch their own copies at home, stream on HBO Max, or tune into airings on TV.

The culmination of the campaign found WBHE hosting a global press and content day with franchise founding director Chris Columbus that serviced the needs of many partners. WBHE also held an influencer screening, which along with mailers resulted in more than 10 million potential impressions. WB Studio Tours Hollywood’s new Harry Potter exhibits served as the stunning backdrop for the press day and film screening.

Retailers such as Apple supported the campaign with storefront merchandising and on social media. Additionally, an exclusive Anniversary Collector’s Edition with special Hogwarts Express packaging was created for Amazon.

WBHE supported HBO Max strategically with the release of Magical Movie Mode on Nov. 4, timed to the actual anniversary of the original film’s theatrical release. HBO Max, in turn, created an anniversary destination on the platform that leveraged WBHE’s key arts. A selection of extra bonus content throughout the year also was made available to further engage viewers.

The Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team leveraged the 20th anniversary to create a campaign around 20 iconic moments of magic from the film. Wizarding World Digital developed that idea into an online hub for fans on the Wizarding World website. The franchise team also amplified many of the social assets created by WBHE, including two fun filters, for use worldwide.

WB Consumer Products created programs to eventize the moment at retail. Licensee products figured heavily in home entertainment influencer unboxings and in activity packets with recipes and more. Additionally, influencer videos with domino artist and YouTuber Hevesh5, who integrated Magical Movie Mode product into one of her Harry Potter masterpieces, logged 25 million views alone. And Themed Entertainment rolled out cafés in Harry Potter-crazed Japan, using WBHE’s creative assets.

WB’s Alternate Content team re-released the first film with hundreds of screenings worldwide, featuring home entertainment artwork on posters, and included a 10-minute preview of Magical Movie Mode that played after the main feature.

The 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone amounted to a year of truly unforgettable magic.

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■ Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

As the world began to come out from under the heavy weight of the pandemic, and theaters began to open wider, Sony Pictures launched Venom: Let There Be Carnage in theaters in October 2021. This set the stage for a ramped-up home entertainment campaign that focused on the strong franchise and ideal holiday timing.

The global marketing team deftly re-positioned the home entertainment launch to holiday audiences looking for a bit of popcorn entertainment at home over the Thanksgiving and winter holidays. Media and digital marketing created hyper-focused assets to reach all audiences 13 and up.

The social media team leaned heavily into engaging content on key platforms to reach young audiences with tongue-in-cheek campaigns that reflected the lighthearted interplay that audiences loved in the film. Tactics included conversational and seasonal GIFs, AR effects for Instagram and Facebook, with QR code on in-store displays, and custom content like the rom-com spoof which aimed at showcasing the action film as a seasonal rom-com.

Timed to the season, the social team created a 10-hour Venom-themed Yule log where audiences could pop on YouTube and enjoy a crackling fireplace alongside quips and dialogue between Venom and Eddie as they enjoyed hot chocolate. RVOD customers also enjoyed programming the Yule log into their barker channel for added fun and visibility.

A key pillar of the marketing campaign was to showcase more than an hour of behind-the-scenes footage and special features. Part of this was an exclusive deleted scene that grabbed more than 6 million views on YouTube alone.

From a publicity perspective, press and influencers continued to share their love of Venom. To blow out the release, publicity enlisted a popular rage room space in downtown Los Angeles where they themed out multiple rooms to Eddie Brock’s apartment. Upon arrival, all participating press and influencers got geared up with highly desired “Eddie B.” branded coveralls and went into their assigned room to take out their rage like Venom. One of the biggest hits was the creation of Mrs. Chen’s Mobile Convenience Store, where Peggy Lu (as Mrs. Chen) hung out for the entire day and conducted interviews, photo ops, and helped distribute iconic “Chen’s Market” tote bags. This day had a social reach of 69 million.

The media team created massive awareness by taking a data-driven approach that identified and ultimately converted key audiences. Tactics included leveraging first-party data, contextual targeting and affinity targeting. To spike urgency among young males and dads, Sony Pictures marketers activated across key sports events such as NFL Sunday football as well as NBA programming and further broadened out by blanketing networks such as NBC and ABC, and various cable networks.

All these unique ingredients brought the action and fun together and resulted in an immersive movie-watching experience.

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■ Yellowstone: Season 4
Paramount Home Entertainment

Based on the “Yellowstone” season three cliffhanger and the series’ explosive viewership growth, Paramount Home Entertainment was prepared with a season four home entertainment marketing campaign that spanned six months and established Yellowstone: Season 4 as the biggest TV season release since the final season of “Game of Thrones.”

PHE capitalized on the fan frenzy leading up to the November season premiere in multiple ways. Season four was made available for pre-order through digital retailers four weeks before the premiere. Supported by a digital marketing campaign that reached the series’ growing audience via Roku as well as social platforms Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Reddit, season four registered a stunning 100,000 season pass pre-orders in addition to increased sales of the first three seasons.

To promote the disc release, the home entertainment marketing team launched a highly giftable line look with custom decals for seasons one, two and three. The collectible catalog program achieved support equivalent to a theatrical new release across brick-and-mortar and online channels during the season four broadcast window and holiday season.

As the season came to a close in early January, focus shifted to the season four disc campaign. While the DVD and Blu-ray Disc were made available for pre-order after the season premiere, PHE synchronized its release date announcement to the season finale. Online marketing and social media efforts spiked disc pre-orders by teasing the release’s four hours of special features, including never-before-seen featurettes that deliver on “Yellowstone” fans’ desire to delve deeper into the compelling world created by Taylor Sheridan.

As the March 8 release date approached, the marketing campaign targeted both longtime fans of the franchise as well as new viewers just now engaging in the cultural conversation about the series. The media campaign delivered high-profile spots during sports and scripted series, and Paramount Global brought to bear the power of its portfolio with company-wide support from CBS, Paramount+, Paramount Network, CMT, Smithsonian and other networks.

Public relations efforts were supported by cast members Jefferson White (“Jimmy”) and Jen Landon (“Teeter”). An innovative influencer campaign with experienced creators in metal working, glassblowing and farrier work re-imagined the iconic Y brand while champion lassoers and cowboy cocktails created festive moments for the release. Organic social and influencer superfan posts drove awareness for more than 30 million followers and fans of the show.

Grassroots marketing across the country reached radio and podcast listeners, with a targeted focus on country and western. To further bolster word-of-mouth, Yellowstone: Season 4 was featured in pre-show advertising and print programs at world-renowned live music venues such as the Grand Old Opry and the Ryman Theater.

PHE further tapped into sports fans with multiple activations. In addition to grassroots marketing at rodeos and barrel races, a high-profile sports marketing event showcased the release during the NHL’s Nashville Predators games at Bridgestone Arena, the most-ticketed venue in the world.

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The Power Teams

Paramount Home Entertainment

The following worked on both The Godfather and “Yellowstone” campaigns:

  • Michele Bell, EVP, Worldwide Creative Services, oversees all of the division’s product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising.
  • Alanna Powers, SVP, Brand Marketing, spearheads the division’s global marketing strategies, product development, and management of all feature-length new releases, library titles and acquisitions.
  • Scott Klein, SVP, Brand Marketing, oversees worldwide transactional release strategies, marketing, and management of all television series distributed by Paramount Global.
  • Melinda Froelich, SVP, International Marketing, leads the international marketing teams in developing strategic plans for all titles and products by territory.
  • Hilarie Hildebrandt, SVP, Digital Sales, Global Accounts and Customer Marketing, oversees the strategic vision and execution of consumer-focused marketing programs with all global digital accounts.
  • Michele Rumain, VP, Media, oversees domestic home entertainment media planning for new-release, catalog, acquisitions and television product.
  • Michelle Willey, VP, Worldwide Creative Services, leads creative for new releases, catalog and television campaigns, including product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising.
  • Lin Park, Director, Global Digital Marketing, leads the division’s global digital and social marketing strategies, creating impactful campaigns for feature-length new releases, library titles, acquisitions and TV series.
  • Dashiell Winston, Senior Manager, Global Digital Marketing, leads the division’s global digital and social marketing strategies, creating impactful campaigns for feature-length new releases, library titles, acquisitions and TV series.

 

The PR team that worked on The Godfather and “Yellowstone” consisted of Kirsten Anderson, Pamela Grant, Alan Meier, Deborah Peters, Sharon Ramirez and Deborah Thompson.

The following people worked on The Godfather campaign:

  • Todd Sokolove, Director, Brand Marketing, oversees home entertainment product development and promotions for Paramount’s film library
  • Irene Bassett, Director, Brand Marketing, oversees home entertainment marketing activations for Paramount’s film library

 

The following people worked on the “Yellowstone” campaign”

  • Laura Kanamori, Executive Director, Brand Marketing, oversees physical home entertainment marketing for television series from all Viacom networks.
  • Jennifer O’Keefe, Director, Brand Marketing, also manages physical home entertainment marketing for television series from all Viacom networks.
  • Emily Guenther, Senior Manager, Brand Marketing, oversees TVOD home entertainment marketing for television series from Paramount Network, Comedy Central, BET, MTV, VH1, CMT, TV Land, Logo and Smithsonian.

 

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

The marketing team that worked on the Ghostbusters: Afterlife campaign consisted of Lexine Wong, Jennifer Anderson, Katie Ullrich, Abram Lugioyo, Patrick Serrano, Joe Burg, Rene Wilson, Antonio Gimenez-Palazon, Patrick Santiago, Christine Galloway, Kaitlyn Slover, Michael Nixon, Aaron Plourde, Jane Mohon, Jana Simmons, Doug Momii, April Cozart and Courtney Yeh.

The marketing team that worked on the Spider-Man: No Way Home campaign consisted of Lexine Wong, Jennifer Anderson, Katie Ullrich, Gregg Shack, Joe Burg, Derek Mihalik, April Florentino, Eric Kent, Amy Tesser-Marquez, Derek Schulte, Alex Andujar, Tara Rais, Jane Mohon, Jason Rumminger, Dylan Godshall, Christine Galloway, Michael Nixon, Diana Cheng, Jana Simmons, Doug Momii, April Cozart and
Courtney Yeh.

The marketing team that worked on the Venom: Let There Be Carnage campaign consisted of Lexine Wong, Jennifer Anderson, Cynthia Munoz, Abram Lugioyo, Patrick Serrano, Derek Mihalik, Stephanie Wu, Emily Ossip, Nico McManus, Robin Davids, Aaron Plourde, Jane Mohon, Diana Cheng, Rob Czechowicz, Terence Mulcahy, Jana Simmons, Doug Momii, April Cozart and Courtney Yeh.

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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

  • Hilary Hoffman, EVP, Global Marketing, oversees strategic marketing for Universal and its distributed lines worldwide across feature film new-release, library and TV properties. Her responsibilities encompass defining go-to-market strategies and overall approach for consumer engagement, including developing and leveraging new platforms and technologies as well as direct-to-consumer initiatives to drive profitable growth. She is responsible for creative, digital content, retail marketing, media, digital marketing, publicity and consumer insights.
  • Pam Blum, SVP, Global Marketing, oversees creative marketing services and the development of value-added content for the studio’s physical and digital releases on a worldwide basis. Her responsibilities also extend to include maximizing opportunities cross-divisionally within NBC Universal.
  • Lea Porteneuve, SVP, Global Publicity & Communications, oversees global business, technology and executive communications for UPHE as well as leads strategy and advancement of brand-defining publicity initiatives in support of the studio’s digital and physical in-home offerings around the world.
  • Denise Haro, SVP, Global Consumer Insights & Strategy, oversees business analytics, focusing on external market analytics, trend analysis, and long-term outlook. She also manages UPHE’s consumer insights and research. She is focused on aligning global commercial strategy around product, window, messaging, and innovation founded in business and consumer insights. Throughout her tenure, she has been influential in shaping company strategy.
  • Sandy Choi, SVP, Global Brand Marketing & North America Partnerships, manages worldwide marketing for Focus Features’ home entertainment new-release slate as well as all of UPHE’s North American third-party partner relationships. Additionally for all of UPHE’s distribution partners, she oversees the development and execution of all marketing campaigns across both physical and digital platforms and leads the cross-functional team responsible for the overall business.
  • Stephanie Lutjens, SVP, Global Brand Marketing, spearheads global strategic marketing, product development and management of all new-release titles from Universal Pictures, Illumination and DreamWorks Animation, in addition to the studio’s extensive catalog and television library. She also manages worldwide home entertainment promotions.
  • Joe Eibert, VP, Digital Marketing, oversees UPHE’s owned media marketing, including CRM, websites, influencers and promotions. Eibert also leads division-wide efforts on innovation and multi-cultural opportunities.
  • Nadia Haney, VP, Emerging Partnerships & Formats, is responsible for Universal’s entrée and advancement of new formats, alternative distribution partner marketing, and airline content licensing. Additionally, she serves as a primary liaison for cross-industry growth initiatives.
  • Ted Chi, SVP, Digital Marketing and Media Strategy, oversees the digital strategy and execution for UPHE’s in-home film releases. His remit includes paid, earned and owned media with an emphasis on data and analytics.

 

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Lionsgate

Lionsgate home entertainment marketing executives who worked on The Hunger Games: Ultimate Steelbook Collection campaign include Amelia Rogers, Erin Carter, Tiffany Olivares, Kathy Arendain and Aaron Gershman.

Power Marketing 2021 — Redbox: Embracing the Challenges of a Turbulent Year

In a tumultuous year of pandemic and protest, Redbox marketers decided to act. As the Black Lives Matter protests emerged over the summer, the company quickly mounted a campaign called “Black Voices. Black Stories.” And, as the world seemed particularly threatening, Redbox decided to celebrate National Do Something Nice Day Oct. 5 by extending the celebration for an entire week.

Do Something Nice Weeklong Campaign

During COVID, Redbox decided to celebrate Do Something Nice Day, Oct. 5, for an entire week from Oct. 5-11 to help lift the spirits of customers stuck at home and enjoying movie nights, one of the few escapes during this time.

Redbox encouraged people to observe the day by extending kindness to others, for instance picking up a neighbor’s newspaper, giving up your place in line to someone with fewer items, giving a compliment, or buying an extra coffee for a friend or family member. The point was to celebrate small acts of kindness and recognize that even the smallest gestures can make a big difference.

This multi-faceted, integrated campaign featured daily offers, a week-long giveaway, and a special deal from one of Redbox’s partners, the American Cancer Society, with “Make a Donation to the American Cancer Society and get a Free Redbox Movie Night.”

Each day, the company also offered some “nice advice” for people to spread the good vibes, with suggestions to check on a friend (and share the daily Redbox offer) or to recognize a colleague.

The campaign included email, SMS, social media, Web and app support. Redbox also created awareness on its Free Live TV platform by including teasers to enjoin viewers to continue to tune in to see the next day’s offer.

The campaign — designed to bring something positive to as many people as possible — engaged more than 250,000 customers throughout the week.

“In a year of upheaval, Redbox focused on being a constant, reliable and welcome source of entertainment for our millions of customers,” said Chris Bingel, director of loyalty and database marketing at Redbox. “Highlighting National Do Something Nice Day and expanding the program into a full week was a nice way to surprise and delight our customers with messages of kindness that they could in turn pass along to brighten the day for their friends and families. This was also one of the first comprehensive campaigns that highlighted our full offering of physical and digital movies and TV shows, which we promoted with all of our outbound channels.”

■ Black Voices. Black Stories.

The “Black Voices. Black Stories.” campaign launched in June 2020 and is an ongoing initiative across all of the Redbox platforms — kiosk, On Demand and Free Live TV. The initiative was created in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the growing social unrest that focused a spotlight on the injustices African-Americans regularly contend with. The goal of the initiative is to provide a space for Redbox customers to learn more about the black experience through content created by and starring black talent.

Underscoring the importance of this movement, several studio partners (Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox/Disney, Universal, Sony and Lionsgate) showed their commitment by offering free On Demand rentals on select titles. The following movies were free throughout the month of June: Just Mercy, Selma, Antwone Fisher, The Secret Life of Bees, Brian Banks, Ali, The Hate U Give, Monsters and Men and Blindspotting. In a major move, Warner Bros. also extended Just Mercy to be available to rent for free at the kiosks.

Because this was the first time that studios offered free On Demand content, Redbox’s Content Operations team had to expedite development work on the company’s platforms to make this content available for no charge to customers. Also, Redbox’s creative team had to develop a campaign quickly. Within one hour of getting the call from Warner Bros. about Just Mercy, Redbox went live with the free offer.

The initiative was featured across the Redbox network, including email, kiosk banners, push notification, Web support, social, and the company’s “Unscripted” blog. Marketers also developed the “Black Voices. Black Stories.” reel and landing page to curate a collection of movies that would engage and educate customers about the black experience. The movies range from stories on famous historical figures and lesser-known pioneers, to films derived from fictional novels and real-life groundbreaking events.

“Entertainment has always played an important role in bringing people together through shared experiences,” said Galen Smith, CEO of Redbox. “Redbox launched Black Voices. Black Stories. to elevate black voices and stories to help educate ourselves about systemic racism and social injustice. We’re proud of the ongoing initiative.”

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.