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British Video Biz Lauds Top Marketing Initiatives

2 May, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

2014 British Video Association award winners

Universal’s Eddie Cunningham says discs here to stay

Warner Home Video, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Paramount Home Media Distribution and Lionsgate May 1 were honored for their respective retail marketing efforts at the 2014 British Video Association Awards in London.

Paramount took home “Marketing Initiative of the Year for a Film with Box Office over £10 million” for its work creating retail awareness for Star Trek Into Darkness. Specifically, the BVA cited the studio’s use of social media and a special rooftop screening as keys to gaining consumer awareness.

Fox’s Skyfall was awarded “Retail Title of the Year,” after the James Bond movie generated 2.96 million disc sales to become Britain’s top-selling title in 2013. Fox was also awarded “Creative Initiative of the Year” for its 800-foot Skyfall branding campaign of a nine-car commuter train.

Warner won “Marketing Initiative of the Year for a Film with Box Office of £3 million to £10 million” for its work on Pacific Rim. The studio also won “Marketing Initiative of the Year Catalogue Campaign” for its work on Warner Bros. 90th Anniversary releases.

Notably, Sony received “Marketing Initiative of the Year for TV” for its efforts generating retail and consumer excitement for the packaged-media release of “Breaking Bad” — a franchise readily available on Netflix.

“This is an amazingly creative industry and shows it has the ability to innovate year after year to reach audiences in clever new ways, harnessing technology and inventing inspiring marketing tactics to make the most of the video business,” BVA director general Lavinia Carey told attendees.

Carey announced she is retiring her BVA position after 20 years.

Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd. won Retail Distributor of the Year, Specialist Marketing Initiative of the Year for Jack Dee: So What? Live and Children’s Marketing Initiative of the Year for Barbie in The Pink Shoes.

The BVA’s Special Award went to Eddie Cunningham, president of Universal Worldwide Home Entertainment, who has been responsible for driving the development of the “special interest on non-film” categories over his career at PolyGram and Universal. The award was handed to him by BVA chairman Charlie McAuley.

In his acceptance speech, Cunningham said that despite ongoing trends toward digital distribution, the industry shouldn’t turn it back on packaged media.

“I believe it will be here for years and years,” Cunningham said.

Meanwhile, Lionsgate took home three awards. These included “Film Marketing Initiative of the Year” (non-theatrical) for Green Street 3: Never Back Down, whose campaign judges said found new ways to attract an audience and drive sales and “Film Marketing Initiative of the Year” (£1m-£3m box-office) for Texas Chainsaw, which the judges noted for its remarkable use of a limited budget to drive strong sales across the Blu-ray Disc format. 

“Best British Authored Disc of the Year” also went to Lionsgate and Icon Film Distribution’s Dracula, authored by Sony DADC, demonstrating British authoring as amongst the best in the world.

In the online environment, Amazon, iTunes and LoveFilm (now Amazon Prime Instant Video) won “Online Retailer,” “Online Digital Service” and “Rental Service of the Year,” respectively. 

HMV took home “Retail Marketing Initiative of the Year” for its “HMV Decades Campaign,” which judges lauded for driving shoppers through its doors and getting them interested in film and TV catalog.  Specifically, HMV staffers dressed up to match their favorite decade.


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