BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- In an unusual partnership between a religious-oriented group and a major movie studio, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has formed a marketing alliance with the Dove Foundation, Grand Rapids, Mich.
The foundation's Dove Seal will appear on "family-friendly" video programming from Fox in an effort to appeal to "the faith-based community," said Jeff Yordy, director of marketing at Fox.
Through its seal program, as well as its research that has shown G and PG rated movies to be more profitable for studios than harder fare, Dove has developed a reputation over its 15-year existence as being more proactive than the reactive stance taken by other religious media watchdog groups, industry observers noted.
"Our position is to commend the good rather than condemn the bad," said Dick Rolfe, Dove's chairman. Other studios have used the Dove Seal from time to time in promotions of specific movies, but Fox is the first one to build an "aggressive" marketing position around it, "using the Dove Seal as its primary family imprimatur," he said. The program began last month.
Last year, Fox successfully marketed the controversial Mel Gibson film, "The Passion of the Christ," after other studios had passed on it.
"For some time, Fox has been implementing an initiative to bring more movies to the faith-based community, which we believe has been largely underserved," Yordy said. "During this initiative, we have found the Dove Seal to be a trusted symbol of wholesome family entertainment."
The Dove Seal program plays directly to the core audience of supermarket video shoppers, Yordy and Rolfe said. "As so many of the titles endorsed by Dove are in fact targeted to the family, supermarket awareness carries among the highest importance because it is the place where so much shopping is done with the family in mind," Yordy said.
Many supermarket purchases are made on impulse, Rolfe said. "The idea of having the Dove Seal clearly stickered on the box is going to make it easier for customers to be able to identify the content of a movie, not just the title," he said.