MAULDIN, S.C. -- Bi-Lo stores in the Charleston, S.C., area are promoting the two-tape set of "Scarlett" with a contest offering a free weekend at a bed and breakfast inn, according to supply sources. The promotion, which started July 5 and will run through July 19, is exclusive to the 20 Charleston Bi-Lo stores, said Phillip Carroll, account executive at Ingram Entertainment, La Vergne, Tenn. It includes about 180 spots on two local radio stations.
The video was released on June 27 by Cabin Fever Entertainment, Greenwich, Conn. Ingram created the promotion, while Cabin Fever provided the funding, said Carroll. A Bi-Lo executive at headquarters here did not return calls for comment.
Bi-Lo is selling the six-hour program for $39.95, marked down from the suggested retail price of $49.95, Carroll said. "Scarlett," a sequel to "Gone With the Wind," was originally a television miniseries. The $39.95 price point is more than twice as high as the average hit sell-through price in supermarkets, Carroll noted. "By stepping out on a higher ticket item, we hope to prove that cross-promotion does work," he said. "The promotion will bring a lot of customers into Bi-Lo while showing them that Bi-Lo offers quality videos at a competitive retail price," said John Brenner, regional sales manager at Cabin Fever. The $39.95 price point "is higher than Bi-Lo would normally go on video, but it points out their interest in getting behind a key product. This is a six-hour film, so at $39.95, it is an inexpensive price," said Brenner.
"It is very significant that a supermarket would recognize the possibility of satisfying customers with this kind of product at this price point. With the promotion, it's a win-win-win situation." Because
"Scarlett" targets a mostly female demographic, supermarkets are an ideal place to sell it, Carroll said. The theme of the promotion is "A Romantic Getaway," he added. The videos are being displayed on Bi-Lo service counters and promoted in-store with point-of-purchase materials, he said. The winner will be drawn by a local radio station. First prize in the contest will be a free weekend at the Rhett House bed and breakfast inn in Beaufort, S.C., a $400 value, said Carroll. Although no purchase is required, customers have to come to the Bi-Lo stores to enter. Additionally, radio stations are giving away copies of the video tape set. The Bi-Lo promotion is linked to a national cross-promotion for "Scarlett," said Brenner. Inside the boxes are mail-in certificates for consumers to get a booklet listing over 1,800 bed and breakfast inns and offering a free second night on a two-night stay. Brenner said he has no specific sales goals for the promotion. "What I'm hoping to do is gain exposure for the product in that marketplace. Bi-Lo is a very prominent chain in that area and this title is a natural for a tie-in," he said.