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HBO&#39;s <I>Band</I> Gets Promotional Play on DVD

25 Jul, 2002 By: Kurt Indvik

HBO is launching an unusual trade promotion this week for its Nov. 5 video debut of the miniseries Band of Brothers, using the DVD format as its “announce kit.”

It is believed to be the first time a studio has used the DVD format as the vehicle for a complete sales/trade promotion kit for a major release.

More than a sampler, the promotional DVD includes not only select scenes and an entire episode for retailers to view, but offers all the usual presales information about the release with much more dynamic presentation of special features and other information, said Cynthia Rhea, SVP of marketing for HBO Home Video.

“If the medium is the message, and vice versa, I don't think we could have chosen a better release to use the DVD format for,” Rhea said. “We know there is a strong demand in the marketplace for this title on DVD. … We just felt we had to give it a calling card that is as unique as the program.”

The DVD is being sent to “every key sellthrough buyer and major rental account” said Rhea, and will be followed up Aug. 5 with a print promotions kit for the award-winning 10-part miniseries.

The disc contains three parts that offer a complete picture of the home video rollout of what is, according to company, the most-viewed original program in HBO history, with an estimated $120 million production budget.

The “Briefing” section offers production information about the miniseries, a synopsis of the story line, a complete episode (the second in the series), as well as a preview of the We Stand Alone Together: The Men of Easy Company documentary, which is included as an extra feature on both the VHS and DVD sets.

The “Basic Training” section has data on the miniseries' audience demographics, ratings and other consumer impressions.

And “Victory” gives retailers information on the many features on the six-disc DVD set and the six-tape VHS set; information on the DVD and VHS packaging, point-of-purchase materials and visuals; marketing and media plans for the video rollout; and pricing and order information.

The packaging for the DVD trade promotion itself is unique, with a pull tab on the package sliding out from the bottom a menu of what's on the promotional DVD while the DVD itself simultaneously slides out the other end. “It meets the criteria of everything we do on this release, which is to make it as unique and extraordinary as the program itself,” Rhea said.

The six-cassette VHS set retails at $109.98 (minimum advertised price $79.99). The six-disc DVD set retails at $119.99 ($89.99 MAP). Prebook is Oct. 1 (Sept. 17 for merchandisers).

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