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Universal to ‘Turn World Green’ for ‘Grinch’

26 Apr, 2001 By: John Jimenez

“We’re going to turn the world green.”

That’s the rallying cry of Universal Studios Home Video when comes to the VHS and DVD release of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, says president Craig Kornblau.

The title debuts on home video Nov. 20, at $24.98 on VHS cassette ($29.98 for VHS Gift Set) and $26.98 on DVD ($39.98 for Limited EditionDVD Gift Set). Prebook is Sept. 25.

Last year’s biggest theatrical title, pulling in $260 million at the box office, will enjoy Universal’s largest advertising campaign inhistory, Kornblau says.

“We think we have the all-time biggest holiday title here,” he says.

The key to marketing a holiday title is timing. Universal is releasingThe Grinch, “right at the height of the Christmas shopping season,” Kornblau says. “And a significant amount of marketing will hit right at the holidays.”

The title won’t have been in theaters for the better part of a year by its home video release, and “we have to bring all the excitement back to consumers’ minds,” Kornblau says.

The advertising campaign will be a four-phase attack running from Nov. 1 through Jan. 1, featuring television and radio ads, point-of-purchase displays and a massive online presence.

Universal has teamed up with Internet portal MSN to offer exclusive streaming footage and “Grinch”-themed games on the site. MSN will alsosponsor a sweepstakes which will entitle the winner to forego all the normal Christmas chores — MSN will take care of the Christmas cards and home decorations, in the style of the film.

“It will turn their house into Whoville,” says director of publicity Maria La Magra.

Other promotional partners include Nabisco, which will sell a line of green Oreos; Hershey, which will feature “Grinch” candy; Wendy’s, which will include “Grinch” toys in its Kids Meals; First Book; and others who have yet to be named.

The VHS release will be accompanied by a VHS Gift Set, which will include the film and a stuffed "Grinch" doll.

DVD extras include a featurette on the making of the film, as well as make-up and special effects; deleted scenes and outtakes; a Faith Hill music video; descriptive video service for the visually impaired; sing-alongs and read-alongs; DVD-ROM features; and Whovianrecipes—Christmas dishes inspired by the film.

The Limited Edition DVD Gift Set also comes with a play set for kids. The packaging will fold out like a pop-up book and turn into a toy.

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