The increasing financial payoff of DVDs, with video revenues outstripping box office totals, has led studios to institute marketing campaigns for video releases that rival the advertising barrages that supported the film's initial theatrical release. For pop culture retailers the DVD ad campaign can provide another opportunity to move tie-in merchandise or attract 'civilians' to the comic, science fiction, or fantasy properties that provided the source for movie. In the past these 'campaigns' were often more like skirmishes, which led retailers to doubt that video marketing had any appreciable effect on their customers, but today these marketing efforts involve serious money and the number of DVDs sold or rented means that millions of people are being exposed to the property, many for the first time.
The theatrical release of the Spider-Man film spurred increased sales of Spider-Man merchandise (see 'Spider-Man Influence Apparent in April Sales'), a track record that will easily justify additional outreach efforts synchronized with the wallcrawler's video release on Nov.2. The ad support will be major. Sony/Columbia TriStar will make a $45 million 'hard' buy supporting the release in a campaign that will total more than $100 million if you include ads from the film's promotional partners Cingular Wireless, Dr. Pepper, and Kellogg's (behind its new Spider-Man cereal). The Spider-Man DVD contains lots of material about Spidey's comic origins (see 'Spider-Man DVD Release Set') and the Collector's Gift Set Edition of the DVD actually includes a replica of Amazing Fantasy #15 (see 'Spider-Man Limited Edition Collectors Gift Set'). Given the advertising and connections to the comic source material for the character, Spider-Man's video release should provide some solid opportunities.
But Spider-Man isn't the only property that will benefit from a massive advertising campaign behind the DVD release. Buena Vista Home Entertainment, the video arm of the Disney Studio, will put on its biggest campaign ever for Monsters Inc. Although Monsters Inc. hits the streets on September 17, the video ad campaign will last from late August through December to encourage holiday sales, which should help Tokyopop's manga version of the film (see 'Tokyopop To Do Monsters Inc. Manga'), which happens to be the only comic adaptation of the film available.
Fox isn't talking publicly about the campaign for Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, but it will be substantial and include contributions from Hasbro and Lego, providing another opportunity to sell the numerous Dark Horse Star Wars graphic novels, the Wizards of the Coast RPG and CCG, the Topps cards, and the entire panoply of Star Wars merchandise. Men In Black II ($34 million combined), Ice Age ($40 million) and the extended edition of Lord of the Rings ($20 million), will also receive considerable support, though not quite on the scale of Spider-Man, Monsters, Inc. and Clones.