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Disney leashes ‘Dalmatians’ vid to major tie-in campaign

With promotional help from Nestle, Alamo Car Rental and Alpo dog food, Walt Disney will back the April 15 homevideo bow of “101 Dalmatians” with its largest marketing campaign for a live-action film.

The vid release will be accompanied by the launch of hundreds of new “101”-themed consumer products, many of which will make their debut at the Toy Fair, which kicks off today in New York. The vid will retail for $26.99.

Disney Interactive also is bowing its highly anticipated CD-ROM game in conjunction with the vid, which is based on the game featured as a plot pivot in the Glenn Close-starring film.

Plan of attack

The studio’s vid arm will back “101 Dalmatians” with an aggressive slate of print and electronic media as a way of ensuring that the $130 million box office hit finds a large audience.

“Our research has shown enormous purchase intent for this movie,” said Dennis Rice, senior veep of marketing for Buena Vista Home Video. “With our extensive companywide synergistic and promotional partnerships, as well as the continued strength of licensed merchandise, (this video) will be a huge hit.”

The licensed merchandise line spawned by the film boasts more than 142 licensees creating more than 17,000 product lines.

Retail connections

Nestle will offer a $5 mail-in rebate when consumers purchase the vid plus four of the manufacturer’s specified products. The company also will tout its tie-in with a national TV ad campaign, in-store displays and 50 million newspaper inserts.

A pair of instantly redeemable coupons will grace select Alpo products, while Alamo Car Rental is offering $20 off a car rental with a vid purchase.

Disney will team with its interactive arm to create $25 in savings, and will add a promotional trailer for “101” on the March vid releases of 24 million copies of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.”

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