BIG G, BUENA VISTA TEAM ON REBATE PROMO

MINNEAPOLIS -- General Mills here and Buena Vista Home Video, Burbank, Calif., are about to launch a major rebate promotion that they expect will result in joint displays and higher rings at as many as 10,000 grocery and mass retail outlets nationwide.When General Mills Disney Video Days begin on July 9, consumers will be able to obtain a $10 mail-in rebate with proof-of-purchase of one home video

MINNEAPOLIS -- General Mills here and Buena Vista Home Video, Burbank, Calif., are about to launch a major rebate promotion that they expect will result in joint displays and higher rings at as many as 10,000 grocery and mass retail outlets nationwide.

When General Mills Disney Video Days begin on July 9, consumers will be able to obtain a $10 mail-in rebate with proof-of-purchase of one home video from the Disney Masterpiece collection plus three full-size boxes of any General Mills cereals.

The promotion was announced jointly by John Machuzick, vice president of trade and promotion marketing at the Big G cereals division of General Mills, and Max Goldberg, vice president of promotion at Buena Vista Home Video division of Walt Disney Studios.

"This is the biggest promotion we have ever undertaken with General Mills," said Goldberg. "In fact, it is our biggest ever with any cereal company."

Components of the Video Days promotion include a jointly produced television spot, a national freestanding insert, special prepack video shippers and what Machuzick called "overlay deals" being offered to retailers. Field sales calls are being made jointly by representatives of both companies, and a significant number of retail feature ads are anticipated, he said.

The Big G and Buena Vista sales forces have been "on the streets" with the deal for several weeks, Machuzick said.

The July 9 full-page FSI will reach 54 million households. The TV spots will run during the weeks of July 3 and July 10 in all time slots and on cable.

Two prepack video displays are being offered, in 96-count and 48-count sizes. These are designed to be arranged with cereals on endcaps, for example. Header cards highlight the offer to shoppers, while rebate forms are supplied on tear pads. Other point-of-purchase materials for the promotion include character cutouts, mobiles, shelf talkers and promotional posters.

The goal of the promotion, said Machuzick, is to increase category sales. The strong offer is structured to induce shoppers toward a higher ring per transaction, which should sit well with retailers.

The promotion design is based on consumer research, added David Fisher, director of consumer promotions for Big G cereals. "The average number of cereals purchased is just under two. So it is not a stretch [to make the offer good on three boxes]," he said.

The Disney Masterpiece video collection includes 12 top-selling titles, including "Dumbo," "Alice in Wonderland," "Mary Poppins," "Robin Hood," "The Sword in the Stone," "The Three Caballeros," "So Dear to My Heart," "Pete's Dragon," "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "The Fox and the Hound" and "The Lion King."

General Mills cereal brands include top sellers Cheerios, Kix, Wheaties, Trix, Lucky Charms and Honey Nut Cheerios, plus more than 30 others.

Rebate fulfillment is being handled through General Mills' internal facility, said Fisher.

This is not the very first collaboration between Big G and Buena Vista. "We did a Kix/Aladdin promotion in October 1993," Goldberg said.

"You could not ask for a better way to start a relationship between these two companies," he added.