In a rare co-studio promotion targeting Hispanic viewers,
Universal Studios Pay-Per-View and Columbia TriStar International Television have
developed a two-tier PPV campaign surrounding two February releases.
The two studios have formed a regional Hispanic media plan
to appeal to fans of stars Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Lopez, who appear in
Columbia's The Mask of Zorro and Universal's Out of Sight,
The campaign features Spanish-language print, radio and
television materials that will run in 12 markets with heavy Hispanic-oriented viewers,
including New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento, Calif., said
Holly Leff-Pressman, vice president of pay television for Universal.
Hispanic viewers are very strong PPV customers, accounting
for a greater percentage of buys than their actual representation within the PPV universe.
Yet beyond boxing, the industry hasn't made a great effort to target movie and other
event promotions specifically toward Hispanic viewers.
"There are definite synergies between the two titles,
with the Hispanic draw being one of the biggest," Leff-Pressman said.
"We've always targeted the Hispanic viewer with our promotional materials, but
not to the degree that we've done with this event."
"I like the idea of a Hispanic movie tie-in; we have
not had that before in the years that I've been here," said Deborah Rodriquez,
PPV manager for Paragon Cable in San Antonio.
The Columbia-Universal promotion also has an
English-language component and a major sponsor. Subscribers purchasing either The Mask
of Zorro or Out of Sight will receive a 15 percent discount off any purchase at
Spencer Gifts through June, said Cheryl Koll, vice president of sales and marketing at
The chain, which has more than 600 locations worldwide,
will support the campaign in-store.
Along with the retail tie-in, Columbia and Universal are
offering a sweepstakes that will run through May. The grand prize is $5,000 and a
four-day, three-night trip to Cancun, Mexico, for two people, the studios said. Consumers
can enter via postcard, order forms at Spencer Gifts or online at www.spencergifts.com,
www.universalstudios.com/ppv or www.sony.com/ppv.
"To guarantee the success of Out of Sight and The
Mask of Zorro on PPV, we've created a promotion that's fun, compelling and
appealing to both operators and consumers," Koll said.
Out of Sight, which generated $37.5 million at the box
office, premieres on PPV this week (Feb. 26) with a 50-day home-video window.
The Mask of Zorro, which earned $93.8 million in
theatres, debuted last week with a 73-day home-video window. However, the movie debuted
one month earlier on DirecTV Inc., after the direct-broadcast satellite service paid an
early-window guarantee to the studio.
Leff-Pressman said the films will generate increased
interest in the next month due to their recent Academy Award nominations. Out of Sight
was nominated for best screenplay adaptation and film editing, while The Mask of Zorro
received nominations for best sound and sound-effects editing.