UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- Cross-promotions can be used as effectively on relatively unknown video products as they are with the big hits, said Andrew Kairey, senior vice president of sales and marketing at MCA/Universal Home Video here. SN talked with Kairey prior to "Supermarket Video '95: Cross-Promoting Video Titles in Supermarkets," a conference where he will speak on the cross-promotion involving "Jurassic Park" and Jell-O. During the conference, which takes place this week in Los Angeles, MCA/Universal will sponsor a special behind-the-scenes tour at MCA/Universal Studios. Since the "Jurassic Park" promotion, the studio has launched a completely new children's video line, "The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth," with the help of tie-in partner Kellogg's. "So far, the promotion has been very successful. We have achieved our goal of effectively introducing 'Timmy' into the marketplace," Kairey said. This involved getting communications out to consumers, television exposure and a sampling program that allowed people to get a free episode of the series. "The reality is that we have been able to quadruple our advertising reach and frequency" because of the cross-promotional partnership with Kellogg's, he added. Retailer support for the promotion has been increasing slowly but steadily, said Kairey. "But now they are part of it; they understand it, and they are supporting it. That is true for all channels of distribution," he said.
The main advantage of the cross-promotional relationships is to broaden the marketing reach for the videos, he noted. "The main goal for a cross-promotional partner is to address breadth of marketing. I don't think you can have too many messages communicated on the availability of a title," said Kairey. The Jell-O tie-in with "Jurassic Park" accomplished MCA/ Universal's goals in marketing support. "Probably the most important part was what it brought to the table in terms of advertising support," he said. However, it fell short in regard to in-store cross-merchandising, he said. Better communication among the studios, tie-in partners and retailers is the key to improving this situation, he said. To address this, the studio is trying to work more closely in setting up joint sales calls with the tie-in partners' field sales staffs, said Kairey. MCA/Universal will soon announce some major promotional plans for the end of the year, Kairey said. These plans will address the needs of all retail channels of distribution, including supermarkets, he said. "Supermarkets are an extremely important part of the business for us," he said.