P&G typically has avoided doing such tie-ins because, promotion marketing executives say, the company believes movies are a high-risk investment. But this time, P&G is protecting itself by inking a deal that will involve it in all windows of a movie, from theaters to TV and home video.
The company will produce a series of public service announcements about the importance of music education in schools, featuring some of the film's stars -- Meryl Streep, Aidan Quinn and pop star Gloria Estefan.
The PSAs will run on network and cable TV, in theaters, and via in-store video at retailers including Best Buy Co.
"Music of the Heart" focuses on an inner-city teacher, played by Ms. Streep, looking to save her musical education program.
P&G will tap into that theme by sponsoring a 41-city screening of the movie for music educators, government officials and school board members. It also will sponsor the world premiere of the film, as well as a benefit for VH1's "Save the Music Foundation," a program that encourages and protects music education programs in schools.
In addition, P&G will sponsor a number of in-school music programs in conjunction with the movie's release Oct. 29.
"P&G gives us tremendous credibility," said Lori Sale, senior VP-worldwide promotion at Miramax. "They will be involved throughout the life cycle of the film."
Ms. Sale said P&G's promotional efforts initially will be under the auspices of its corporate name. At the end of the PSAs, a title slate will say " 'Music of the Heart,' proudly sponsored by Procter & Gamble." In later exhibition windows, the marketer might focus on a selected P&G brand.
Because of a short turnaround time, Ms. Sale said, there won't be in-store support at supermarkets or mass merchandisers, where most P&G products are sold.
COULD BE WORTH $500,000
Ms. Sale wouldn't disclose the value of the promotion. But industry executives say it's a low-cost effort for P&G, specifically because PSAs are run free by TV networks, cable systems and local stations. Many film promotion executives measure the worth of their movie promotions from the sponsor's paid TV and print media spending.
Still, considering P&G's other costs -- screenings, in-school activities and the like -- one industry executive estimated the effort's value to Miramax at $300,000 to $500,000.
The deal is significant for Miramax, too. Because the studio is known for its artsy, niche-oriented films, it doesn't usually grab big-name marketers as tie-