PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway began a nationwide cross promotion involving Universal's "The Cat in the Hat" video release and Coca-Cola last week.
In an ad that ran in nearly all of the retailer's U.S. circulars, Safeway offered three free 2-liter bottles of Coca-Cola products with the purchase of the DVD or VHS version of the movie, which was priced at $19.99. The promotion started on the title's release date of March 16, and runs through the end of the month, according to sources. Safeway executives did not return calls for comment.
The promotion is significant because it is national in scope, but also because the combined offer brings the cost of the video to that of mass merchants without resorting to loss-leader tactics, industry observers said.
"Three free 2-liter bottles of Coca-Cola product is quite an incentive for the consumer to buy 'The Cat in the Hat' from Safeway," said a distribution source who asked not to be identified. "This promotion will undoubtedly make Safeway retail locations competitive with mass merchants that choose to sell new-release DVDs at loss-leader prices."
A knowledgeable industry source added, "Supermarkets have been using high-profile partners, such as Coke, to bring additional value to the video release. These types of promotions have proved to be very successful when an item of high perceived value, such as a 12-pack of soft drinks or cookies, are offered for free."
Top 10 Supermarket Video Rental Titles
RANK, Last Week: Title (Weeks Out)
1, N: School of Rock, Paramount
2, 2: The Missing (1), Columbia
3, 3: Matchstick Men (1), Warner
4, 1: Runaway Jury (2), Columbia
5, N: Cold Creek Manor, Buena Vista
6, N: Good Boy!, MGM
7, N: Duplex, Miramax
8, N: Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Warner
9, 4: Radio (5), Columbia
10, 5: Secondhand Lions (4), New Line/Warner
N = New
As of March 7, 2004 This chart, tailored for the supermarket video market, is based on information taken from more than 1,000 supermarket rental locations serviced by Ingram Entertainment, La Vergne, Tenn.