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Universal’s Monstrous Halloween

In a multiproperty bid to dominate Halloween, Universal Studios Home Video is building promotions to package together The Mummy (US$22.98) and animated DTV title Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein (US$19.98), signing on Hershey's and Polaroid as the first big promotional...
August 1, 1999

In a multiproperty bid to dominate Halloween, Universal Studios Home Video is building promotions to package together The Mummy (US$22.98) and animated DTV title Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein (US$19.98), signing on Hershey’s and Polaroid as the first big promotional partners for the September 28 releases.

‘I think we are going to own October,’ says Ken Graffeo, senior VP of marketing at Universal Studios Home Video. Also included in the Halloween push are Universal’s Classic Monsters Collection, which includes a re-scored Dracula video and new packaging featuring original poster art; the Universal Thrillers line, comprised of Bride of Chucky, Child’s Play 2 and Childs Play 3; and the Wes Craven collection, featuring Shocker, People Under the Stairs and The Serpent and the Rainbow. V-8 Splash is the first tie-in named for the Classic Monsters collection. All of the movies will retail for US$14.98, prebooking on August 9 and streeting on August 31 (except for the Craven titles, which will each sell for US$9.98).

USHV is also issuing The Mummy DVD Collector’s Edition (US$29.98), which features a behind-the-scenes documentary entitled Building a Better Mummy and Egyptology 101, a collection of facts about ancient Egypt.

According to Graffeo, The Mummy video release will be supported by a September 13 multimedia advertising blitz, which will reach 98% of U.S. households. Hershey’s and Polaroid will tie in to both The Mummy and Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein, which will be packaged with a free Alvin flashlight. Other promotions include The Mummy’s Gold Sweepstakes, which offers a grand prize of US$100,000 in gold, and additional prizes of Polaroid OneStep Express Cameras and Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein video cassettes. Entry forms will be found on over 100,000 Hershey’s candy displays, as well as inside both videos. The Hershey’s campaign follows the company’s quest to get involved with seasonal programs to reinforce the candy company’s leadership at Halloween.

Licensing and merchandising revenues for The Mummy video release are expected to be stronger than for the feature, says Graffeo. While merchandise for the feature had to compete with Star Wars product, the video release window is unencumbered by other event pictures. The key demo is kids ages eight to 13, although sales could go ‘much broader,’ he says.

Also raising Universal’s Halloween profile is a partnership with Unicef titled ‘Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF,’ featuring an insert panel in all Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein and The Mummy video casettes.

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