Joins 'synergy' fray': New Line forms marketing group

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Hopping onto the cross-divisional bandwagon, New Line Cinema has formed a marketing group intended to take promotional partners by the hand and lead them from product placement to multi-layered tie-in deals. The deals could span the breadth of New Line properties from film to home video as well as intersect with parent AOL Time Warner properties such as TV and publishing.

Several of Hollywood's larger studios have formed such teams in the past with varying levels of success. Some still carry the `90s buzzword, "synergy," in their titles, while divisions formed more recently are known by the now-vogue moniker "integrated marketing."

Gordon Paddison, a 10-year studio veteran who has been New Line's online marketing guru, will head the new division as exec VP. He will continue to oversee the online area. Lance Still, formerly VP at the studio's home entertainment group, will work with Mr. Paddison as senior VP-national promotions.

recent deals

Ms. Still was instrumental in putting together recent tie-in deals for the DVD release of "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" with Daimler Chrysler, Dr Pepper/7 Up, Duracell, Verizon Wireless and Air New Zealand, which supported the tie-in with some $50 million in paid media.

The team's goal is to bring in partners earlier in the process, beginning in film pre-production, and potentially fit them into marketing and promotions plans, said Russell Schwartz, New Line's president-marketing.

"It's a cradle-to-grave scenario that we can offer to partners," he said. "Not every one of our movies is promotion-friendly in a traditional sense. ... So that's all the more reason for us to show the arc of stories from beginning to end." For example, a product could arrange for a placement or tie-in with a new film release, the sequel, the home video release and pay-per-view airing of the film.

The integrated marketing group will be hawking 2004 properties ranging from "Son of the Mask," the sequel to the Jim Carrey movie, "The Butterfly Effect," with current it boy Ashton Kutcher and "Laws of Attractions," with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore.

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