UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- When it came to turning the "biggest movie of all time" into "a big video event," "Jurassic Park" and Jell-O made history at supermarkets.
The multilayered promotion, which involved MCA/Universal Home Video's top grossing film and Kraft General Food's Jell-O brand as its exclusive packaged goods partner, achieved unprecedented leverage at 80,000 to 90,000 retail locations during a seven-month period. The integrated marketing event may have even set the direction for future national cross-promotions.
"One of our objectives is to drive traffic at retail," said Andrew Kairey, senior vice president of marketing and sales at MCA/Universal Home Video, who spoke here last month during the Supermarket Video '95 conference, sponsored by Supermarket News, Brand Marketing, and Aim Promotions, Astoria, N.Y. "We like cross-promotional opportunities that we can expand into," he added. "Cross-merchandising [designed] in the sense of how do we get more aisle space? How do we build end-aisle space?
Are there multiple locations throughout the store where we can place our product as a result of the cross-promotion?"
Marie Smyth, promotion consultant, who worked on the Jell-O/ "Jurassic Park" promotion, said it's important that a promotion create retail excitement, especially among the sales force. This will automatically get retail leverage, she added. "If you've got retail leverage, as we all well know, that means greater features and displays."
She also added that "a promotion must appeal to your target audience. It's got to have real drive. You've got to do your research to know that your target feels strongly about the title, and that the property is compelling enough for people to want to make incremental purchases."
Following are some of the ways the Jell-O/"Jurassic Park" promotional effort helped achieve retail leverage over an extended promotional period.
· At supermarkets, Jell-O featured "Jurassic Park" rebate offers on-pack on over 15 million packages. · Actmedia dispensed Jell-O recipes and video rebate information at over 10,000 supermarkets. Point-of-purchase display placements were gained throughout supermarkets with dinosaur posters given away with qualified video purchases. · Jell-O created nearly six billion advertising impressions through national television and print media. The entire "Jurassic Park" marketing campaign totalled $65 million.
Kairey said MCA/Universal's main goal in creating national promotions for major sell-through titles is to extend the reach of frequency and expand the audience.
Through "Jurassic Park" promotions, which included other tie-in partners besides Jell-O, Kairey said they were able to reach 98% of consumers over 25 times with the "Jurassic Park" message, keeping the title alive during the long period before the actual video release.
Kairey pointed to issues to consider in working with both packaged goods companies and supermarkets on future video promotions.
Crossing over into other grocery departments to gain shelf and aisle space can be a real challenge, especially when "a lot of departments have profit and loss responsibility," Kairey said.
However, he sees the boundaries between various grocery departments being broken down as "senior management better understands and believes in what video is about as a category."
Coordinating the sales efforts between the packaged goods company and video sales force can be difficult at times given the differences in distribution channels. "A lot of the packaged goods companies, when it comes to consumption-type items, deal with brokers. That's very foreign to the video industry," Kairey commented. He said it also was important to find cross-promotional projects that didn't compete with channels of distribution. For example, although MCA/Universal's "Land Before Time" and Pizza Hut cross-promotion was very successful, said Kairey, it took dollars and revenue away from pizzas sold in supermarkets.
Lead times in putting the promotion together with the packaged goods company also can be a problem since packaged goods companies plan six to nine months in advance on promotions while entertainment companies work within a much shorter time frame.