Two former Black Entertainment Television executives have teamed with New Line Cinema to develop urban market-targeted marketing and promotional campaigns surrounding two pay-per-view titles.
Turnkey marketing campaigns for New Line's All About the Benjamins
and Friday After Next
have sparked interest from both sponsors and operators, said Clint Evans, president of marketing and promotions firm The Clinton Group. That's because both parties are aware of the importance of reaching out to African-American audiences, who often purchase a disproportionate amount of PPV content compared to other ethnic groups, he said.
Evans, a former BET affiliate executive, has teamed with The Symonds Synergy Group, headed by former BET executive vice president of affiliate relations Curtis Symonds, to develop the campaigns.
Unlike traditional marketing efforts, the New Line PPV promotions offered purchase incentives that were unique and resonated with the African-American community.
For example, the upcoming Friday After Next
campaign will offer a grand prize of six months' free rent, as well as a barbecue party, Evans said.
Last November's All About the Benjamins
sweepstakes provided a grand prize trip to the Soul Train Music Awards
and a $1,500 clothing shopping spree.
"New Line saw that the underserved minority market was a valuable asset or revenue generator for the company," Evans said. "As a result, they allowed us to develop incentives that were real and important to the target audience."
Major PPV distributors have picked up both campaigns, including In Demand, TVN Entertainment, Corp. DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp, said Evans. "The response from cable operators has been terrific," he said.
And the results were evidently impressive. New Line said All About The Benjamins
performed well within its PPV window — particularly among African-Americans — although it would not disclose specifics. Studio executives expect similar success with Friday After Next.
"This movie did very well, and you hope the promotion did its job," said David Spiegelman, New Line senior executive vice president of domestic television distribution and marketing. "We think it did."
The promotion's results underline the need for studios who want to grow the PPV-movie revenue pie to target more of their marketing muscle toward African-Americans, said Evans. About 44 percent of black households watched at least one PPV movie or event in the previous 12 months, compared to 22 percent of white households, according to Horowitz Associates Inc.