MTV adds grassroots marketing to rock & roll glitz

Celebrity Deathmatch Greatest Hits...
September 1, 1999

Celebrity Deathmatch Greatest Hits

Video: US$12.98

DVD: US$24.98

Release date: September 7

Distributor: Sony Music Distribution

Studio: SMV

Following on the heels of February vid releases Celebrity Deathmatch (Rounds 1 and 2), Celebrity Deathmatch Greatest Hits will offer more battles from MTV’s popular clay-animated series.

Targeting a core audience of males ages 12 to 24, Sony Music Video is launching an underground print blitz focusing on college newspapers, music-oriented magazines, weekly alternative papers and specialized media such as WWF Magazine, The Onion (an international humor mag with a large campus following) and Wizard (The Guide to Comics), a superhero fanzine. In addition, a sticker on the packaging for the video offers a free subscription to Spin by special arrangement with the magazine.

According to SMV’s VP of marketing Alex Beeman, getting the word out about videos like Celebrity Deathmatch is very similar to marketing alternative bands, putting a company like SMV (with the resources of Sony Music) at an advantage. For example, Beeman says the college field rep staff ‘help us in our grassroots marketing tours to colleges, small mom-and-pop stores around campuses and alternative retail outlets like skateboard and surfer shops, etc.’

It goes without saying that the campaign’s lynchpin for the vid launch is advertising on MTV itself. Beeman chose the music net as the sole TV ad venue not only for its demos, ‘but also because it’s the obvious choice [since] you’re speaking right to the fans.’ Besides Celebrity Deathmatch, the buy includes The Tom Green Show and various other dayparts.


Video: rental

Release date: October 12

Distributor: multiple

Studio: Paramount Home Video

For the rental release of MTV Films’ Election (which hit theaters in April), Paramount Home Video will run a national radio promo in the top 50 U.S. markets and the top nine Canadian ones. By supplying stations with videos as giveaways, Paramount hopes to get DJs-primarily ones with urban contemporary formats teens are so fond of-to talk up the high school-based satire, which stars Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon.

Despite its high-school setting and the popularity of its stars with young audiences, the target market for the home video is ages 21 to 39, primarily due to the flick’s `R’ rating. This may be the scarlet letter when it comes to officially positioning a video as a ‘teen movie,’ but it doesn’t prevent the studios from alerting some strategic teen venues. Paramount Home Video’s executive director of PR Dorrit Ragosine says her department will ‘be working with teen magazines to set up coverage for the title as we deem appropriate.’

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