Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

COMPANY TOWN

Fruitful Super Marketing?

September 16, 1997|MARLA MATZER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Remember when grocers only sold things like bread and milk? Over the last half a dozen years, supermarkets have become significant retailers of entertainment. Videos have joined magazines and candy near the checkout lanes. At any given time, half a dozen or more products on grocers' shelves feature tie-ins with new movies or video releases.

Now, prepare for your apples to become edible movie ads. That will happen at the end of this month when six million Granny Smith and Fuji apples hit stores in Los Angeles and New York. In place of their usual identifying stickers will be tiny ads for the video release of "Liar, Liar." In early November, 6 million more apples will appear, bearing the dinosaur logo of "The Lost World."

Universal Studios Home Video is the first company to try this marketing concept, offered by the newly formed Fruit Label Co. The new marketing medium is the brainchild of Brian D. Fox, founder of Santa Monica entertainment advertising firm B.D. Fox & Friends, which envisions fruit labels as "millions and millions of mini-billboards."

The cost--$120,000 or so for 12 million apple stickers--is a fraction of what 30-second prime-time network TV spots can go for. It's also just a drop in the bucket compared with these videos' estimated ad budgets of more than $20 million apiece.

"We're always looking for new ways to reach people; with this, we're testing a new way to reach mothers with kids," says Charlie Katz, senior vice president of marketing for Universal Studios Home Video. Katz adds that the stickers are just one component of campaigns that will include wrapped buses and "poly bags" on newspapers in the top 10 U.S. markets. Some retailers will have "Lost World" displays featuring motorized cardboard dinosaurs.

These things all add to the media "clutter" that marketing people talk about needing to cut through, especially in the pre-holiday season that's become critical for video retailers. For now, anyway, stickers on fruit seem to be a novel way of gaining added exposure.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|