LAKELAND, Fla. -- A cross merchandising promotion featuring the sell-through video "The Swan Princess" and Pillsbury products was given major play at some Publix Super Markets. All 450 Publix stores carried the video, and some devoted significant space to it, said Randy Parker, vice president, Entertainment Resource, Dania, Fla., which racks an ongoing sell-through program in 165 Publix stores and supplies the chain with most other major video titles. Publix executives did not return calls for comment.
The campaigns at Publix were prompted, in part, by a Pillsbury sponsored display building contest, noted Elliott Rothstein, president, Entertainment Resource. The promotion included a rebate offer in which consumers who purchased the video and select Pillsbury products received a $5 rebate.
"We try to create as much in-store merchandising as the managers will allow," said Parker. "Some are very cooperative and some are not. The ones who are cooperative sell lots of videos."
"The Swan Princess," was released Aug. 1 from Turner Home Entertainment, Atlanta, at a suggested retail price of $24.98. Publix promoted the title at $16.99. The video promotion was "very successful" at Publix, said Rothstein. Because of aggressive marketing by Publix and a sustained advertising campaign by Turner, there will be very few returns, Parker said. This was the fourth video cross-promotion Pillsbury, Minneapolis, has run in a 16-month period, said Greg Lincoln, director of brand communications. "They are a very productive, very positive part of our marketing and promotion plans. Our intent is to continue to use them as our brand needs require," he said. The national "Swan Princess" display building contest offered three grand prizes of a trip for four to Europe, said Lincoln. "Swan Princess" shipped 4 million units, and, with holiday sales spurred by a second promotional wave, total sales should exceed that number, said Richard Pinson, vice president, marketing, Domestic Home Video, Turner Home Entertainment. "The sell-off rate has been very strong in grocery stores. As a result, we are now negotiating with Pillsbury to do some more titles next year," he said.