TORONTO: BVA Video, the Canadian sales representative for Burbank, California-based Buena Vista Home Video, is gearing up for the release of nearly a dozen new direct-to-home videos, accompanied by multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns, in Canada over the next six months.
Of all the products, the two titles that will likely make the biggest splash are a new Aladdin video and Toy Story. Robin Williams revives his role as the genie in Aladdin and the King of Thieves, the last film in the Aladdin trilogy. The video will hit shelves August 13.
BVA Video will turn the world blue with a Genie Blue campaign to support the video. Kellogg’s will promote Aladdin and the King of Thieves on cereal boxes and McDonald’s will offer Happy Meals for four weeks.
For Toy Story, which will kick off on October 29, BVA Video is matching up with KODAK, Energizer, Heinz Ketchup, Coca-Cola and a major quick-service restaurant. National TV and print advertising, FSIs, on-pack exposure, consumer rebates and mail-in offers are also planned.
‘Our goal is not just to sell videos, but to create big retail events,’ says Robert Topping, vice president and managing director of BVA Video.
Other products to be the focus of marketing campaigns are: in July, Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco, and 15 titles, including two new Winnie the Pooh videos, in a ‘Back to School With Winnie the Pooh’ promotion; in August, Belle’s Sing Me A Story; in September, The Three Little Pigs, Muppet Treasure Island, Oliver and Company, and 12 titles, including two new products, in a ‘Pooh’s House of Happy Haunts Video Shop’ promotion for Halloween; and in October, another 12 titles as part of a Toy Story-themed promotion called ‘Disney’s Holiday Video Toy Shop.’
Major marketing efforts are necessary to support direct-to-home video launches, says Topping, because ‘like any other product, there’s always a competitive environment, and the home video market has grown dramatically over the last few years.’ In fact, he says, home video now rivals some of the biggest industries in North America.
Still, Disney’s previous success with sellthrough videos is an advantage. ‘I think that the retailers recognize the strength of the Disney name in the sellthrough business,’ says Topping. ‘So they usually are very supportive when it comes to giving us our fair share of the shelf space.’
The timing of executions and the creative directions of campaigns in Canada coincide with efforts in the U.S. But BVA Video determines the media buys and finds promotional partners for this market.
The Disney studios to be opened in Toronto and Vancouver will participate in creating direct-to-home videos, says Topping. While the production will be shared between California and Canada, ‘the Canadian studios will be a very key component in the development of future direct-to-video products for Disney.’
BVA Video distributes videos from Walt Disney, Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, Jim Henson, DIC Toon-Time and Buena Vista.