Client: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
PR Team: Consolidated Communications and BVHE publicity team
Campaign: Retail VHS launch of Runaway Bride
Timescale: July - August 2000
Budget: Initial run estimated to start at pounds 10,000 but could rise
up to pounds 50,000
Runaway Bride is the second film which reunites stars Julia Roberts and
Richard Gere with director Garry Marshall. after their previous
encounter in the box office hit Pretty Woman.
A romantic comedy, Runaway Bride got to number two at the box office
grossing pounds 7.6 million at the film’s release last year, and was
brought out by Touchstone Home Video at the end of July.
To drive the retail sales high in the four weeks of the campaign, with
support from key female areas of the press and female columnists, while
aiming for ages 18-34 in the female market. To gain one-to-one media
contact, and strong links with the internet.
Strategy and Plan
Consolidated Communications, which launched Buena Vista Home
Entertainment (BHVE) ten years ago, wanted a physical product to help
promote its latest VHS release.
Consolidated commisssioned the redesign of the Japanese game, a pet
called Tamagotchi, for the modern woman - creating a virtual husband
called Tom-i Gotcha! This twist on the game was launched as a test of
day and night commitment, (the game is physically attached to the
wearer’s wrist like a small computer game, similar to the
Women cope with demands such as clubbing, dates and even sex, while
their attentiveness is monitored. This is a light-hearted test to see if
women can live with potential husbands, thus fitting the plot of Runaway
Bride -(Roberts) cannot commit to marriage, and stands up many of her
grooms at the alter.
The bridal web site Confetti.com, as the web partner of the campaign,
launched a site on the video’s release day, 31 July, for the on-line
promotion of the Tom-i Gotcha! People who buy the video are also being
encouraged to visit the website to claim their free virtual husband.
A media pack containing the Tomi-i Gotcha! was issued on a one-to-one
distribution to journalists, and 120,000 in-pack stickers and leaflets
were distributed to outlets nation-wide. Consolidated Communications
also briefed journalists on a one-to-one basis in advance of the
Measurement and Evaluation
The Confetti site was first covered in the Evening Standard - a page in
the Life and Style section. Sun Woman ran a column feature next to its
lead article where there were mentions of the e-mail address
firstname.lastname@example.org and BHVE. GMTV covered the Tomi-i Gotcha!
craze. Daily Mirror, Channel 5 and media in Northern Ireland and
Scotland also ran features.
Confetti.com launched a monitoring system on its website to record
impressions and registrations on the competition page, and applicants to
the Runaway Bride e-mail address are being monitored.
It is estimated that the Tom-i Gotcha! has reached over 20 million
people to date, and it is being successfully introduced to Europe.
Runaway Bride has been on sale since the end of July and estimates for
the first week’s takings are in excess of pounds 16,000.
The great pick-up followed on from Pretty Woman and good timing could be
the basis for a runaway success.
The media’s response to virtual husband Tom-i Gotcha has far surpassed
Consolidated Communications’ expectations.