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<I>Ice Age</I> Chisels Mammoth Campaign in Q4

10 Oct, 2002 By: Joan Villa

Facing a holiday season crowded with sellthrough choices, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment plans to give Ice Age an edge with 14 promotional partners designed to reach every potential audience segment.

“The campaign itself is $40 million in hard media advertising between us and our partners, and there is another $45 million in promotional activities,” said Steven Feldstein, Fox's SVP of marketing and communications, who assembled the campaign with promotions director Anna Dodd. “This is the most comprehensive and far-reaching of all the films of the fourth quarter.”

Feldstein said Ice Age, like DreamWorks' Shrek and Buena Vista's Monsters, Inc., will draw a wider demographic than its primary family audience when it hits video Nov. 26 (DVD $29.98, VHS $24.98). Although family is a core target, “there's a secondary and tertiary market for this movie that is equally enthusiastic,” including animation buffs, teenagers, young adults and DVD collectors, he noted.

If anything, the early success of Monsters, Inc. may indicate a strong selling season ahead for DVD that may not be curtailed by competition. In fact, consumers appear more likely to expand purchases of home entertainment than they are to spend extra time at the movies, he noted. “That is proven by the sheer enormity of the video business than theatrical -- it's four times the size,” Feldstein added.

Pre-street-date awareness for Ice Age will start the second week of November, with flyers topping every pizza delivery box from Papa John's -- the first time the pizza franchise has tied in with an entertainment property. Papa John's will provide network TV spots, national print ads and in-store window clings, counter cards, banners and “on hold” phone messages. The chain will also hand out $3-off coupons for the video with the purchase of a “Mammoth Meal.”

Also that month, an Ice Age toy will be inside kids' meals at Carl's Jr. in the Western United States and Hardee's in the East. The fast-food chains will also promote the title with window clings, meal bags and menu boards. Applebee's International will distribute themed cups and activity books at its 1,400 restaurants.

Targeting mothers in supermarkets, Ice Age stickers featuring a sweepstakes offer will appear on 100 million Dole bananas. Langer's will also promote a sweepstakes on the labels of 2 million juice bottles, and Ian's/Fran's frozen foods will design special Ice Age packaging and support the film in newspaper inserts, direct mail pieces, circulars and online. Van de Kamps frozen seafood will run an Ice Age sweepstakes on 2 million packages offering the chance to win a Pioneer Home Theater System or one of 2,500 other prizes. The promotion will be supported by co-branded freezer clings and circulars.

Val Pak advertising mailers will feature Ice Age on more than 70 million envelopes offering chances to win DVDs and other prizes.

Inside the Ice Age packaging, consumers will find a $25 NHL Hockey Bucks coupon, and the National Hockey League and participating teams will support Ice Age with arena events, interstitials, public relations and Web opportunities.

A Microsoft coupon will offer $75 off four software products, supported by print and radio ads.

Ice Age buyers will also get to sample a free customized flavor of Cold Stone Creamery ice cream.

“DVD has made home entertainment sexy to packaged goods companies once again,” Feldstein said.

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