Dinos phone in video promotion

Voice-activated disposable cell phone debuts in Dec.

HOLLYWOOD — “Welcome to Jurassic Park, the disposable phone.”

In one of the most unusual cross-promotions for a video, beginning Dec. 11, Universal Studios Home Video is partnering with a cell-phone company in offering the first voice-activated disposable cell phones to thousands of customers who purchase the vid version of “Jurassic Park III.”

Garden Grove, Calif.-based Hop-On will not introduce the revolutionary phones at retail outlets until late December, a couple weeks after the exclusive “Jurassic Park” offer.

Getting a line on freebies

The phones, designed primarily for emergencies — a cell phone was integral to the story of the rescue in last summer’s hit movie — have enough battery power to last six months and allow users to make up to 60 minutes of calls anywhere in the country during that time. They do not have an assigned phone number (they cannot receive incoming calls). They also do not have a keypad, relying instead on verbal dictation of the desired number through an ear piece that has a microphone attached to the connecting wire.

The tiny phones can be recycled by being returned to Hop-On in exchange for a $5 rebate on the purchase of another one.

For the duration of the one-time promotion, an operator will answer every call from owners of the phones with the greeting “Welcome to Jurassic Park” before prompting the caller to say what number to dial.

Ken Graffeo, senior veep of marketing for USHV, said that since “Jurassic Park” brought a revolutionary technology to cinema in a movie about survival, it was fitting to have a promotion for the vid that introduced a technology that could be used in the same way.

The phones, which will have a retail pricetag of about $30, will be delivered free to consumers who respond to a winning promotional card inside the video package of “Jurassic Park III.”

Graffeo anticipates that the video will be one of the year’s biggest, especially on DVD.

Lizard promo scales heights

On the heels of huge marketing campaigns for the successive record-setting releases of “The Mummy Returns,” “Shrek” and “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” Graffeo said the studio has another monster promotion. This one is a nearly $20 million marketing campaign for the video of “Jurassic Park III,” one of last summer’s top-grossing movies at the box office.

The cell phone offer, which will be touted in radio and TV spots, in-store advertising and on each video, is integral to the campaign, Graffeo said.

Hop-On will not advertise the “Jurassic” phone separately. The Hop-On phones sold through retailers later next month will not have the “Jurassic Park” logo.