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March 23, 2001

By Wayne Friedman

Walt Disney Co.'s Touchstone Pictures is beginning to market its big summer movie Pearl Harbor, the Jerry Bruckheimer-producer film, with an unusual newspaper event.

This weekend, in the March 23-25 issue of

It was a Sunday morning...
USA Weekend magazine, Disney debuts a poster of the movie as a pull-out insert in the magazine. The poster is an unusual foldout, the first page of which sticks out the top of the magazine. The page reads, "It was a Sunday morning ..."

That first page features an image of a woman crouching down while trying to hang clothes on an outside clothesline -- as fighter planes fly overhead. On the second page of the insert, titled "A day that will live in infamy," kids are playing baseball while Japanese attack planes buzz by at close range. The third page of the insert opens up to the full poster.

"We don't usually get movie advertisers," said Marcia Bullard, president and chief executive officer of USA Weekend. "In a tight advertising budget environment, we feel this makes a statement -- especially [considering] how movie companies have been targeting cutbacks in newspapers. It's an effective way of reaching 47 million readers."

The move follows Disney's recent launch of TV spots for the movie. The ads include lots of action sequences and feature scenes of Ben Affleck and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Additionally, the spots mark a departure from Disney's typical voice-over talent. Actor Martin Sheen, who stars as the U.S. president on the NBC series The West Wing, does the voice-over for the spots. Marketing executives say Mr. Sheen's voice lends somewhat of an official luster to the movie about the bombing, an event that shook the country and the world.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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