BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- If carefully chosen, television products offer future sales opportunities in supermarkets, said Bob DeLellis, president of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment here.
"Grocery is perfect for TV products because, if it is a good product with multiple shows, and if grocery does it right, they could do in-store continuities," he added. Supermarkets have been selling products like dishes, plates and books for decades. "They have the capability of doing continuity promotions that nobody else really has," said DeLellis. However, many video buyers have had bad experiences with television products offered for sell-through in the past. "Television product is probably the hardest video product to market because it is free and legally tapeable," said DeLellis.
"There is certain television programming that can work, but not all of it," he said.
This falls into two categories: shows with a cult following, like "X-Files," and children's products based on literary properties, like "Goosebumps," he said. Both these properties have been breaking sales records for FoxVideo. "There is no better buyer than the 'X-Files' buyer.
There is no better buyer than the cult follower of 'Twilight Zone' or 'I Love Lucy' or 'The Honeymooners.' 'Star Trek' from Paramount also has a tremendous cult following. So you need that hook. Nothing else really works," said DeLellis.
On children's videos, "most people don't realize, and a lot of my competitors might disagree, that most TV shows for kids don't work. You see all these titles being released to the marketplace and very few of them sell in any kind of numbers," he said.
It's different with "Goose-bumps" and certain other literary-based series, like "Dr. Seuss," he said. "They turn pretty well in the stores. You have to pick and choose." When the market is flooded with TV products that won't sell, buyers lose interest in the entire category, he noted.
"An important thing we do is market these products like movies, not like TV programming. We make sure there is a splash. We make sure there is awareness. We make sure that the retailers fully support our marketing campaign," said DeLellis.