Twentieth Century Fox is taking its campaign to promote Digital HD on the road. Through the drive-through, actually.
Under a a high-profile partnership among Fox, McDonald’s and Microsoft’s Xbox One, the studio’s “The Wolverine” will be the sole movie promoted as part of the fast food chain’s month-long “One Hot Holiday” instant win contest to take home the new videogame console.
The superhero pic, with Hugh Jackman again playing Marvel’s flawed clawed character, debuted on all major digital stores on Nov. 19, two weeks before the title became available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Hollywood’s major studios are now starting to back Digital HD as the brand name through which consumers can digitally purchase films for around $15 before they’re released through traditional retailers on disc. Fox has promoted Digital HD since “Prometheus” became available digitally three weeks before its disc release in September 2012. Studio sees such early releases as a way to encourage the sale of more films over rentals, especially as more consumers view movies on mobile devices.
This year, Fox has seen Digital HD movies boost sales by 200% to 400% over comparable titles last year.
Although specific sales figures were not provided, “The Wolverine” already is Fox’s top-selling Digital HD title ever, doubling sales for “A Good Day to Die Hard,” the studio said.
Yet until now, Digital HD has mostly been promoted through online ads and on digital stores.
Homevideo releases are rarely promoted at fast food chains. But in a first for a film promo, putting the Digital HD name in front of the millions of consumers who visit McDonald’s in a month should help build the brand and give it considerable exposure among an audience that may not necessarily buy movies through iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Google’s Play or Target’s new Ticket stores on a regular basis.
The McDonald’s “One Hot Holiday” promo runs through Dec. 23, and is supported by national paid media, an in-store campaign, imagery on take-out bags and cups (see above), along with online and social media messaging that hypes “The Wolverine” as a prize — as a Digital HD title, of course. Fox will give away 500,000 copies of “The Wolverine” as part of the contest, as well as Digital HD episodes of its TV series “Enlisted,” “Raising Hope” and “Bones.”
“Our partnership with Xbox and McDonald’s highlights the growing trend of collecting movies on Digital HD, and ‘The Wolverine’ is the perfect movie to connect with Xbox this holiday season,” said Mary Daily, president and chief marketing officer of worldwide marketing for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
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McDonald’s isn’t the only place Fox is pushing “The Wolverine” on homevideo.
Fox also created a multi-touch experience for iPads that comes in the form of a 49-page digital book that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “The Wolverine,” helmed by James Mangold. App launched Nov. 5.
A new “Wolverine: Unleashed” website launched Nov. 8 to reveal different parts of Wolverine’s body, personality and history.
The film also is getting promoted on the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 interfaces, with “The Wolverine” the only film that Xbox helped hype during the launch of its Xbox One on Nov. 22.
The disc versions also feature a 4D experience through a Google Play or iTunes app that uses augmented reality technology to experience the film’s fight sequence on top of a train with different camera angles and take a selfie pic of themselves with Wolverine’s claws that can be posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Launch comes as studios typically sell a large number of homevideo titles during the holiday gift-giving season. This season, in particular, will prove whether the industry can induce more tablet, smartphone and smart TV owners to make more digital purchases, especially those who have recently picked up the next-generation videogame consoles from Microsoft and Sony.