The Threads that bind: Everland launches new religious kidvid series
Everland Entertainment is hoping lightning strikes twice. The Nashville-based company that distributes and markets Big Idea’s Veggie Tales-the biggest-selling Christian kidvid franchise of all time-is planning to ship its newest series, Threads, on DVD this fall to Christian retailers.
The all-CGI series centers on the wholesome adventures of four cloth animals, which are sewn into a quilt and eventually come to life in a child’s imagination. In each episode, the characters try to make sense of the world around them and, in the process, relay life lessons for a preschool-age audience, says Everland’s VP of marketing Rick Forsythe. The virtue of respect is the focus of the first release, A Pond Full of Pigs, which debuted on VHS (US$14.95) last month, and which Everland will release on DVD (US$16.95) in November with additional footage, including an animated music video.
While Forsythe is confident Threads will be able to find a home in the Christian marketplace alongside Veggie Tales, which has sold over 11 million copies in the last five years, he isn’t relying on divine intervention to make the series popular. In support of Threads, Everland is mounting a promotional campaign of biblical proportions, which includes previews of A Pond Full of Pigs at 100 Regal Cinemas locations, as well as exposure on Yahoo and Christian-friendly e-tailers ibelieve.com, lightsource.com and musicforce.com. The company is also negotiating promo tie-ins with Coca-Cola and Nabisco. Additionally, three companies have signed on to create Threads product: Standard Publishing (books); Colorado Casual (apparel); and Gund (plush toys).
New Batman DTV swoops into stores
Warner Bros. will flex its considerable marketing muscle for the release of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, one of the studio’s three major DTV kidvid releases due out this fall. For this latest iteration, which prebooks September 19 on VHS (US$19.96) and DVD (US$24.98) and streets October 24, the caped crusader rekindles his battle with his old nemesis. The bevy of promo partners tying in with the release include Dairy Queen, Orange Julius, Coca-Cola, Hasbro and Scholastic. Kicking off later this month, Warner will support The Return of the Joker with a multimillion-dollar ad blast covering print, TV, on-line, outdoor and in-school media.