Turner has T.H.E. plan

A slate of new releases, new appointments and a closer customer relationship will mark Turner Home Entertainment as it heads into the final months of the year.

T.H.E. will release David Attenborough’s highly successful documentary series , “The Trials of Life,” on Oct. 20. Tapes will retail for $ 19.98 each; $ 69.98 for gift sets of three; and $ 199.98 for the full dozen, plus a docu on the making of the series. During the last two years, Turner licensed the series to Time/Life Video, which sold more than 3 million units through a $ 25 million directresponse advertising campaign. For this new promotion, Turner will employ a $ 2 million marketing campaign in television and print.

“Frankenstein” takes to the streets Nov. 17. The 1993 original TNT telecast starring Patrick Bergin and Randy Quaid will be released for rental only, and be boosted by a marketing campaign covering print, television and packaging. Venders will be able to buy single cassettes for $ 92.98 and 2-packs for $ 119. 98, and receive rebates for helping Turner meet “Frankenstein” sales goals, which are to exceed 30,000 units. A 12-minute cartoon, “Frankenstones,” from the Hanna-Barbera library, will be included with the “Frankenstein” cassette.

The Turner Pictures production “Gettysburg,” which New Line will release nationwide theatrically Oct. 8, will come out on video next year. The four-hours-plus epic, which stars Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Sam Elliott and Martin Sheen, is Turner’s first live-action film to be released theatrically in the United States.

In order to better know its customers, Turner Home Ent. is employing two new marketing strategies. The first involves T.H.E.’s first telemarketing analysis, conducted last month, of some 600 distributors and retailers, and will result in T.H.E. sending more screeners and promotional materials to distributors and retailers and possibly establishing an 800 number to request screeners.

The second strategy involves T.H.E.’s 23 executives each spending a day working in video stores in various cities around the country. “The Trials of Video Store Life” program, as it has been dubbed, will take place through Nov. 1 and help T.H.E. staffers gain a better understanding of what consumers and retailers want.

Sharon Levere has been named T.H.E.’s marketing manager for sell-through product and domestic home video, and will manage the company’s sell-through catalog of home video titles in North America. Russell J. Kelban will serve as T.H.E.’s vice president of marketing for domestic homevideo. Both will be based at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta.

Levere comes to Turner after a year as a product manager for Mattel Toys. Prior to that, she worked for Nestle Food Company, Pitney Bowes and Merrill Lynch.

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