A&E swabs 4-pic promo decks with $10 mil loot
NEW YORK — A&E Network will toot its own “Hornblower” films to the tune of $10 million-plus — an unprecedented amount for a cable event and probably for any television production.The promotional campaign for the four-film “Horatio Hornblower” series will include everything from mock sea battles in various U.S. harbors to thousands of cut-outs for display at the discretion of the American Library Assn. But it’s not just money that’s giving firepower to the campaign behind C.S. Forester’s Napoleonic Wars swashbuckler to be show every Sunday in April. John Zamoiski, president of the New York-based Promotion Development Group, which is assisting A&E in the campaign, said, “This is going to make for the case study on integrated marketing. We weren’t turned down for a single tie-in. I’ve never seen it where the glue that binds it all together has been so strong.” Lashed to the mast Already integrated into the campaign are tie-ins with:
- Windjammer Cruises, for more than 40 grand prizes to A&E’s “Sail Away” sweepstakes;
- Barnes & Noble, featuring Hornblower books from Little, Brown & Co. and other nautically themed offerings;
- Strategy First, for its “Man of War II” CD-ROM, which allows players to simulate sea battles of the sort detailed in Forester’s 11-book series and depicted in A&E’s four productions. This cross-merchandising effort will include 5,000 retail displays and provide CD-ROM customers coupons for “Horatio Hornblower” videos, as well as video buyers with CD-ROM coupons;
- American Library Assn., with an “All Hands on Deck” program that provides 8,000 libraries with “Hornblower” cut-outs and guide books for those interested in literature about the Age of Sail; and
- Local nautical societies, for the staging of tall-ship battles in eight harbors at the end of March and early April. Radio stations in each market will co-sponsor the battles with DJs serving as honorary captains who broadcast their man-of-war maneuvers.