Campaigns: Product Launch - VHS launch is a runaway success

Client: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

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, 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 and BHVE. GMTV covered the Tomi-i Gotcha!

craze. Daily Mirror, Channel 5 and media in Northern Ireland and

Scotland also ran features. 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.

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