CULTURE

A big, fat DVD promotion

Fresh from winning the Favorite Comedy Motion Picture award at the 29th People’s Choice Awards in Pasadena, California, last Sunday, and just before this Sunday’s glamorous ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills for the Golden Globe Awards – where «My Big Fat Greek Wedding» is nominated in the Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and Best Lead Actress categories – Nia Vardalos’s surprise box office hit is also heading home. Toula Portokalos and family will enter the video and DVD home entertainment arena in the USA on February 11, just in time for Valentine’s Day, accompanied by a huge network of sponsors, ranging from flower bouquets and wedding gowns to jewelry. According to HBO marketing officials (the network owns the movie’s rights), the strategy was developed as a result of the movie’s huge box office success, with market research pointing to audiences willing not only to see the film again, but also to share it with others. Big promotion Besides sponsoring, plans include a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign – from billboards to Internet and television, not to mention ads in major publications such as Vanity Fair, People, Modern Bride and House & Garden. Not bad for a movie whose original budget did not exceed $5 million. The impact of «My Big Fat Greek Wedding» has been so great that various US networks have decided to adjust their scheduling in order to be in sync with the film’s DVD release. TNT, for instance, is planning a week of films focusing on weddings, while TBS is working on a similar idea which will be accompanied by Greek recipes. What will audiences gain from watching the movie at home to a set price of $22.95? There will be plenty of discount vouchers for flower bouquets and the opportunity to win holidays in Greece. One of the sponsors, a jewelry company, will be drawing winners in 700 stores across the USA – with prizes including more trips to Greece. Could Toula’s great talent in travel planning create a new wave of visitors in this country?