American Movie Classics plans to help cable operators cash in on the Halloween holiday next month with its fifth annual MonsterFest promotion.
"We've put a placeholder in all our distributors' minds for the Halloween time frame," said AMC executive vice president of affiliate distribution and marketing Kim Martin.
Affiliate enthusiasm for the promotion has continued to build over the years, and 841 systems across the country are participating this year.
That's about 200 more systems than have typically signed up for MonsterFest in the past, Martin noted. This year, the campaign is specially tailored to help affiliates sell one of their most important revenue-generating units: high-speed cable modem service.
AMC has created customized spots for Adelphia Communications, Comcast Communications and Time Warner Cable designed to promote their distinct brands of high-speed service. Other participating operators include: AT&T Broadband, Cablevision Systems Corp., Charter Communications Inc. and Cox Communications Inc.
This year's promotion, "MonsterFest 2001: You Don't Know Jack," is based on the electronic trivia game. From Oct. 26 to Oct. 31, AMC viewers can go to www.amctv.com
to answer horror-flick-related trivia questions for the chance to win prizes.
Participating affiliates will also give away their own prizes at their respective sites during the promotion. Some affiliates will include a link to the AMC site from their own Web pages.
"With MonsterFest, AMC really went above and beyond to create a promotion designed to meet our primary business objective: the sell-in of digital cable and high-speed Internet service," said Comcast senior marketing director Jane Bulman in a press release.
Comcast also plans to showcase MonsterFest-related materials at its 25 mall kiosks around the country throughout October. Consumers who take advantage of a Comcast upgrade offer during the promotion will receive a MonsterFest three-pack with videos of horror flicks Dracula, Frankenstein
and The Wolf Man
AMC's Web site will boast other original content starting Oct. 1, such as a test designed to tell visitors which movie monster they most resemble.
On Halloween night, the Web site will host an online chat with a leading Dracula expert, Dr. Ray McNally, a professor at the University of Boston, who has written books on the historical fiend.
AMC New Media has also created a satirical look at scholarly study with its Transylvania Film Institute — an online college with offbeat courses on favorite film monsters.
AMC's spots will promote tune-in to MonsterFest programming, as well as the original content on the Web site. The spots also encourage viewers to subscribe to high-speed cable modem service to get the fastest access to the content.
Horror director Clive Barker and Scream
star Carmen Electra will help introduce MonsterFest's six days of films and specials.