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Blockbuster Gets 'Happy Feet'

10 Oct, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Happy Feet

Blockbuster and Warner Bros. Pictures would appear to be turning a new page on the often-fractious relationship between the rental industry and major studios.

Beginning in November, Dallas-based Big Blue and Warner will unveil an extensive in-store marketing campaign for the studio's new theatrical title Happy Feet, which releases nationwide Nov. 17.

The animated comedy, which features the voices of Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman and Brittany Murphy, among others, showcases an eclectic group of singing Empire penguins by director George Miller (Mad Max).

In addition to the displays, Blockbuster employee uniforms, an online sweepstakes game, and special store events, retail locations will carry licensed merchandise, including toys, games, the Happy Feet video game and a Happy Feet-branded Blockbuster gift card.

The world's No. 1 video rental company will promote the movie via its in-store television network, member newsletters and direct mail, while working with movie's related marketing partners on cross-promotional opportunities to help drive awareness.

Unable to profit from title turns at rental, studios have made no secret of their preference for the more lucrative returns at sellthrough.

Blockbuster has now embraced that preference by offering studios a nationwide marketing platform via its household brand awareness and more than 5,000 company stores.

“It's a strategic entertainment marketing model that galvanizes our entire brand around one entertainment property,” said Curt Andrews, SVP and chief marketing officer for Blockbuster. “We've created a broad-reaching, integrated, experiential approach that will enable marketing partners in the entertainment arena to capitalize on the opportunity this presents.”

Blockbuster plans to implement up to two strategic marketing programs with studios annually.

“Teaming with Blockbuster to promote Happy Feet puts us right in step with our audience,” said Mimi Slavin, SVP of national promotions for Warner Bros. Pictures. “Blockbuster caters to movie lovers, so they are reaching the same customer base. We think this is a great way to put Happy Feet on everyone's must-see list.”

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