BURBANK, Calif. -- Buena Vista Home Video is rolling out a high-powered marketing program for the first half of 1994.
Value-added packaging, cross-promotions and an elaborate media campaign for "The Fox and the Hound" will make this the biggest marketing effort in terms of dollars spent for any video company during the first six months of the year, traditionally a slow time for sell-through video.
"We are planning for significant volume in the first half of 1994," said Kelley Avery, Buena Vista's vice president of marketing. Buena Vista is Disney's subsidiary for video marketing, sales and distribution.
The Disney effort reflects the rapid growth of children's video as a year-round product category, said industry observers. It also highlights the increased sophistication of marketing in this category, with cross-promotional tie-in partners and licensed merchandise now established as an essential part of most programs, they said. All this is tailor-made for supermarkets.
"We haven't even scratched the surface in terms of the opportunity for sell-through video in supermarkets," said Tania Steele, vice president of publicity and event marketing.
The first-half program puts the same kind of marketing support the company has perfected for its sell-through hits behind nontheatrical titles, said Steele. "We are doing so many things that will hook the consumer that, if you look at all of it collectively, it's a great traffic builder.
"Everywhere, and in every category that we have, we are pushing out in new directions that will involve the consumer," she said.
Key components of the first-half program are:
"The Fox and the Hound," a Disney animated feature-length movie that has a street date of March 4. It will be supported by a heavy advertising campaign, a $5 mail-in rebate with the purchase of another Disney Classic video, an in-store promotion with Ralston Purina Chex brand cereals and a freestanding insert with Ralston Purina.
"Mickey's Fun Songs" will expand the company's "Sing-Along Songs" franchise with live-action productions made for video. Costumed actors will play characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. The $12.99 line will be launched April 22 with two titles.
"Disneyland Fun" and "Under the Sea," two videos from the "Sing-Along Songs" line, will be packaged with toy microphones at a $17.99 suggested retail, with a street date of June 24.
Ten titles from "Walt Disney's Studio Film Collection" will be sold with a free package of Jolly Time Microwave Popcorn.
"The marketing level will take advantage of how huge this category is and how involved consumers are in it. It will drive consumers into stores," said Steele.