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Studio Plans Record Ad Blitz For `Gump’ Video

Paramount Home Video has mounted its largest video campaign ever for the April 27 release of “Forrest Gump,” spending well in excess of $10 million on TV advertising.

Paramount is expected to rerelease the film starring Tom Hanks in movie theaters following the Academy Award nominations on Tuesday. Industry pundits expect the movie to generate at least 10 nominations, including nods in nearly every major category.

The release of the highly acclaimed film that has grossed more than $300 million domestically will undoubtedly be the biggest-selling live-action video of the year and one of the biggest of all time, with some industry executives predicting sales of more than 15 million copies. Paramount research indicates there is more consumer interest in purchasing “Gump” than “Jurassic Park” and “Snow White.” Only “The Lion King,” set for release next month, ranks higher in the research.

The release will come just weeks after the March 27 Academy Awards ceremony and after the film has been pulled from theaters again.

Considering the magnitude of the title, Paramount’s campaign is remarkably simple, without any rebates or cross-promotional corporate partners common to most major video releases. The video will retail for $22.95.

“We didn’t want a cluttered campaign on this beautifully uncluttered movie,” said Jack Kanne, Paramount’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. But he said Paramount explored partners before opting against the strategy.

“We thought we were offering the potential partners more than we were getting back,” he said.

The principal component of the campaign is a four-month TV advertising blitz that will kick off just days before the release and continue through July 4 with specific advertising tied to Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day and Independence Day. Kanne said the video would be repromoted for the fourth-quarter holiday season.

Tags: movie, video