‘Pie’ army on the march

Hype for homevid/DVD sequel's release sweeps country

HOLLYWOOD — To drum up publicity for its “American Pie 2” DVD and video release, Universal had bands marching the streets of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco the past two weeks and creating a ruckus in 10 other top markets at NCAA basketball games with “Pie”-themed halftime events.

On Jan. 15, when the DVD and video were released, one of the bands appeared with Al Roker on NBC’s “The Today Show.”

In L.A. the band of local college students serenaded tourists on Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

The rated and unrated, widescreen and full-screen DVD editions (each with 10 hours of extras) topped the DVD best-renter chart, while the VHS did the same, in pic’s debut.

But just renting it wasn’t enough for many people. An unrated special edition was the top-selling DVD of the week, while the theatrical version was the third best-selling DVD title.

According to a Universal rep, different bands marched and performed in various cities, giving out “the usual college campus paraphernalia.”

U also did multimillion-dollar radio, TV and Internet campaign targeting college students.

“It was really a specific and very targeted publicity and marketing campaign,” the rep said.

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