NEW 'FARGO' AD PUSH? YOU BETCHA: 2 OSCAR WINS, PROMOS KEEP FILM ON TOP WITH HOME VIDEO VIEWERS

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PolyGram Video next week launches a two-week TV ad campaign in the top 10 markets for "Fargo," trumpeting the black comedy's Oscar wins for best actress and best original screenplay.

The ad push, created in-house, is but the latest wave of marketing from PolyGram in support of the home video release of "Fargo," which started renting last October and is now available to consumers for purchase. It's the only film nominated for the 1996 best picture Oscar already released on video.

NEW PACKAGING IN 2 WEEKS

"As soon as we knew we got the Oscar wins we began working to change our packaging to tout them," said David Kosse, PolyGram Video's VP-marketing, adding that the packaging will reach stores within two weeks.

Radio ads are also in the works.

Retailers are reporting sellouts of a limited edition package of a letter-box format version of the video coupled with a snow globe whose interior depicts one of the film's memorable murder sequences.

Mr. Kosse said 15,000 units have been sold and an additional 30,000 are being shipped to meet demand.

"The snow globe started out as a merchandising tool [for the trade] but, after we launched the video for rental . . . it got such huge response from consumers that they were stealing it off the shelves," said Charlie Wier, president of theatrical marketing, who conceived of the premium.

"Fargo" is shaping up to be one of those films that finds a whole new audience on video. During a long theatrical run that began last spring, "Fargo" grossed about $25 million, making it a hit compared with the track record of its filmmakers, brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. Their past work ("Blood Simple," "Raising Arizona" and "Miller's Crossing") has earned rave reviews but drawn only cult followings.

DIALOGUE SAMPLER

"Fargo," however, has been rented 20 million times since its release, and has been among the top 25 rented videos for more than 25 weeks, according to Video Business.

If "Fargo"-mania can be maintained, PolyGram might turn another marketing tool that was sent to 1,000 radio stations into a consumer product: a CD sampler of music and snippets of dialogue from the film.

Disc jockeys have been sampling dialogue clips for use as comical sound effects

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