In an effort to further promote its pay-per-view releases,
Warner Bros. is devoting a full Web site to its PPV-movie business.
The site (warnerbrosppv.com) is exclusively
providing promotions targeting its PPV releases, studio vice president of advertising,
publicity and promotion Bill Short said.
The site recently hosted an online chat with TheMatrix
star Carrie-Anne Moss to promote that movie's PPV premiere late last month. Short
said the studio will run similar PPV-specific marketing and promotional campaigns through
the Web site to draw more attention to its PPV business.
Eventually, Warner Bros. hopes to run short trailers and
possibly "behind-the-scenes" shorts to provide additional promotion for its
movies. "We're going to use it to reach the consumer in a way that we
haven't been able to in the past," Short said.
The site has already shown some promise: It drew more than
500,000 "click-throughs" despite not having any major advertising or hype behind
it, Short said.
The site will be linked to the Warner Bros. movie site, and
it will also look to link itself to cable-operator sites.
Further, the site features a link to The Columbia House
Co.'s Total E music site to help promote and sell the movies' soundtracks, Short
said. Warner Bros. hopes to develop other promotional and corporate tie-ins to lure Web
The company is currently developing an Internet and radio
promotion with actor Paul Newman's Newman's Own Inc. popcorn for the January
release of The Iron Giant, and it is negotiating with Domino's Pizza Inc. to
develop a Web-site promotion tying in with the studio's February release of Mickey
Short said he believes the Internet is an important
resource for studios to effectively get the message out about PPV movies.
"If you see how people use the Internet, they're
going to it for information and for entertainment," he added. "With our
resources, we can do things online that we can't do elsewhere to promote our titles
Warner Bros.' Internet efforts come on the heels of
New Line Cinema teaming up with interactive-television company ACTV Inc. to develop a
unique Internet marketing tie-in for the studio's PPV release of Austin Powers:
The Spy Who Shagged Me this month.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.