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Traditional promotions will drive shoppers into supermarkets for special offers and discounts, but brand marketers shouldn't overlook the potential to persuade shoppers and influence purchases using entertainment tie-in promotions with strong point-of-purchase advertising.Marketing a product through the use of video tie-ins is one way to create immediate excitement and interest in the in-store effort.

Traditional promotions will drive shoppers into supermarkets for special offers and discounts, but brand marketers shouldn't overlook the potential to persuade shoppers and influence purchases using entertainment tie-in promotions with strong point-of-purchase advertising.

Marketing a product through the use of video tie-ins is one way to create immediate excitement and interest in the in-store effort. Retailers have become accustomed to video promotion tie-ins and encourage the use of entertaining properties to move product.

Most marketers are familiar with blockbuster titles and are comfortable with the built-in awareness a hot property can provide. Those titles, however, command high prices and often require extensive media commitments that may not always be available in your budget.

Entertainment marketing with video tie-ins provides a wide array of opportunities that will deliver satisfying results for you and your customer. The good news is that they don't always have to be video releases of the blockbuster titles.

There are many other titles available which utilize star potential in "made for video" properties. Most of these properties are worth looking into. Celebrities are always looking for ways to capitalize on their profile and sales capabilities, and the studios are always there to oblige with creative ideas.

Here's a good example: Have you ever heard of the Olsen twins -- Mary-Kate and Ashley? Every kid in America knows them as stars of the popular TV series, Full House.

WarnerVision has produced a video series starring these youngsters, who continue to hold top-10 Nielsen TV "Q" ratings for females of all ages. (The "Q" rating is the most widely quoted survey of popularity and familiarity of a star's recognizability.) The Olsen twins also outrank such heavyweights as Schwarzenegger, Cruise, Roseanne and Stallone!

The video collection includes: Mary-Kate & Ashley, Our First Video; The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley; The Case of the Sea-World Adventure; and The Case of the Mystery Cruise. A tie-in promotion with any of these video titles would create a tremendous amount of excitement at store level, given their popularity.

Because specialty titles like these are smaller in volume, the cost to a marketer to cross-promote and capitalize on the popularity of the property is not nearly as high as a recent release feature title.

Also the creative flexibility is greater. In addition to liberal use of approved images and artwork, a company like WarnerVision will assist in developing interesting sweepstake opportunities that could include sharing the adventure with Mary-Kate & Ashley, or winning a holiday cruise with them.

Delight your customers with in-store video promotions and you'll be pleasantly surprised how often you'll sway their purchase decisions as point of sale.

Patti Ganguzza is vice president of Aim Promotions, Astoria, N.Y.