Anniversary Editions - Is it really a useful marketing tool?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim_K, Sep 11, 2002.

  1. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    I’ve often wondered about how studios plan their release schedules when it comes to catalog titles.
    After collecting DVD’s for almost 5 years (and films on other formats for around 20 years) I’ve noticed one certain Marketing practice that I don’t quite agree with its validity.
    Anniversary Dates: Does releasing a title on a certain anniversary year really impact sales at all? For instance would the ET 20th anniversary or Unforgiven 10th anniversary DVD’s sell more copies than it would if released last year or even next year? Will Raiders of the Lost Ark sell fewer copies (if released in the next 2 years) because they missed the 20th anniversary? Will more people purchase King Kong 70th Anniversary next year (2003) vs. releasing it this year or in 2004?
    This is all assuming that the studios actually plan these “Anniversary” releases.
    Since the vast majority of catalog titles aren't released on an "anniversary" year maybe its all just a Marketing afterthought. [​IMG]
    Answering my own hypothetical question here - An “Anniversary Edition” has never had any influence on my purchases. I’d buy all of the mentioned titles with or without the “Anniversary” banner. Obviously I can’t speak for the entire average consumer base so maybe I’m in the minority here.
    Is the “Anniversary” banner that powerful of a marketing tool or has it outlived its usefulness?
    Mind you this is not a “Why do I have to wait for (Insert title)” thread but just an interest I have in how the Studio’s Marketing system works. Maybe someone within the industry can shed some light on the subject.
     
  2. Tony Scello

    Tony Scello Second Unit

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    Jim,
    I agree that, like you, whether or not a title is an anniversary edition has no influence on my buying habits. It is not like many people who are interested in the original King Kong wouldn't buy it this year because it is only 69 years old instead of 70 like it will be next year. I think the whole anniversary edition concept in overused and has little if any influence on buying habits. If the title is popular and given good treatment by the studio people will buy it whether or not it has some silly 5,10,15,25,70 year anniversary banner. Just my take on the subject.
     
  3. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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    It's not really the anniversary that boosts sales, but rather the advertising that goes along with it. If "Schindler's List" had been released on DVD last year, I doubt that we would've seen many TV or magazine ads. However, by waiting until next year, they could start a whole marketing campaign because it will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.
    Basically, anniversaries give studios an excuse to re-release films. For example, if "E.T." had been re-released in theaters 3 years ago, people would ask themselves: "What's the occasion?"
    I guess that they just need something to justify a re-release (and excess advertising). [​IMG]
     
  4. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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  5. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    It's just marketing. To be taking with a grain of salt. I do think it's much easier for the 'other' media outlet's [print, radio, TV, etc...] to 'grab a hold of and run with' a anniversary ad campaign for a film. Not the buying public as much. But do believe it 'helps' studios create scheduled releases to coincide with their anniversary dates.
    However, I don't care, I don't care!
    Just as long as I get my favorite movie of all time on it's anniversary in 2003.
    Finally!
     
  6. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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    I tend to feel that Anniversary Editions are little more than studios taking advantage of coincidence.
    There are plenty of special editions that are released every year that are not on some 5 or 10 year increment of the film's original release date. I feel that E.T. would most likely have been released this year even if it was not the films 20th anniversary. But as it is 20 even years old then why not slap the Anniversary label on it.
    Does it mean anything to me??
    "Wooo Hooo!!! It's E.T.'s 20th Anniversary baby!!! Honey, call the friends and neighbors and bust out the calling cards, where gonna have a totally off the hook 'E.T. Phone Home' party tonight!!" [​IMG]
     
  7. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I think of it as an excellent excuse for dvd producers to revisit titles they really want to work on, but the studio would normally balk at investing more money on (for instance Unforgiven). if the marketing gimmick can get more older films GREAT dvds, then I'm all for it. (doesn't matter to me though, I'll be getting them anyway)

    Adam
     
  8. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Tron 20th anniversary edition is a good example, yet I would have bought that even without the Anniversary tag.
    I still think it is one of the best dvds of the year imo
    [​IMG]
     

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