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Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Orlando Florida FL.For a sneak peek at Disney’s upcoming release of Oz the Great and Powerful, fans might have turned to an unusual source: HSN, the home shopping network that seemingly has little to do with children’s entertainment fare—or Emerald Cities, for that matter. But what HSN and Disney share is great marketing savvy and a remarkable awareness of just who their consumers are.

The planned dual promotion by the two companies will feature 24-hour, nonstop, Oz-related programming on HSN for two days in the week before the film opens in theaters. A massive Oz-themed hot air balloon also made a stop at HSN’s headquarters, before it flew on to make an appearance at the Daytona 500. On HSN’s website, customers can purchase Oz merchandise, watch exclusive making-of-the-movie videos, take a quiz to determine which witch they most represent, and click a link to buy tickets to a local showing of the movie. Disney will provide HSN employees with early screenings of the film as well, to make sure they are well informed about the stories behind the merchandise they will be selling.

The available products include an Emerald City crystal ring ($79.95) designed by Heidi Daug, accessories by Steve Madden and Badgley Mischka, a Raven Kauffman Couture Feature Bag ($395), as well as beauty products and home accessories. What the line will not feature is any toys—seemingly a staple in most Disney cross-promotions. But the goal for this effort is to reach the audience of women between the ages of 35 and 54 years—that is, the moms and grandmothers with children who are likely to want to see the Disney film. If Disney can get these adults excited about the movie too, they are more likely to take the kids to the movie. If HSN can give adults a way to interact with their children’s interests, it can make more sales.

This partnership is not the first time that HSN has participated in a movie-themed promotion (previous links were with Eat Pray Love, The Help, Footloose, and Snow White and the Huntsman). But it is the largest in terms of the number of products available, as well as in the number of designers involved, which has climbed to include more than 50 brands.

Furthermore, Oz the Great and Powerful offers appealing timing for HSN, in that its release on March 8 comes at a time that the shopping giant usually experiences a sales lull. Thus the connection fits perfectly into HSN’s “entertainment integration strategy,” enabling it to interact with customers in realms other than just television-based shopping.

Source: Susan Thurston, “Movie Buzz for HSN,” Tampa Bay Times, February 23, 2013

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