Social networking conference the new Comic-Con?

Are mommies Hollywood’s next fanboys?

Twentieth Century Fox is betting that BlogHer — the world’s largest conference for social networking women — is on its way to becoming the new Comic-Con. The studio’s home entertainment division is staking its claim as one of the sponsors of this year’s annual confab, which kicks off today in New York. Fox execs see mommy bloggers as the most fertile marketing demo to come along since comicbook geeks.

“There is an enormous community of women who look to other women for advice, and I realized we needed to tap into that,” said Mary Daily, exec VP of marketing at Fox Home Entertainment, who learned of the power of this new class of influencers from a colleague on maternity leave. “Fox has always been a leader in getting into the digital mix. They recognize that mommy bloggers are an integral part of their marketing approach.”

Since the advent of blogging and social media, studios and others hoping to reach specific audiences have made an effort to spread their messages among particular interest groups. Online moms are the latest target for Fox.

The two-day event, now in its sixth year, is expected to attract 2,400 attendees. The home entertainment division is transforming the Hilton New York’s exhibit floor into a “Fox for Families” living room that will showcase its family-friendly fare, including “Marmaduke,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “Date Night,” “Space Chimps 2,” “Strawberry Shortcake: Berrywood Here We Come,” “Goosebumps,” “Glee,” “Sound of Music 45th Anniversary” and “Modern Family.”

Some of these films have already been released on homevid and others will be shortly. The studio hopes bloggers will stuff their Fox emblazoned tote bags with the DVDs and Blu-ray discs but, more importantly, start spreading the message through their blogs to their online flocks.

Daily said mothers typically make entertainment-purchasing decisions for children and teens and points to the oft-cited stat that the collective purchasing power of mothers accounts for nearly $1.6 trillion in annual spending. Furthermore, women make 80% of the household purchases and commonly buy for three or more people.

“Fox is always tasking us to look at specific audiences and going out with specific messages,” explained Daily, who joined the studio 2 1/2 years ago. “From a PR perspective, we’ve gotten a lot of word of mouth (by targeting female bloggers).”

Fox is the only studio sponsor at BlogHer and one of only a handful of media company backers.

“I’d love to say we’re smarter than everyone else,” Daily quipped. “I think we’re on this early. When other people catch on, they’ll see that this really is the hand that rocks the cradle and makes the purchasing decisions, too.”

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