Elizabeth Gelfand thinks like a package-goods marketer.
The brand she's responsible for as senior VP-marketing at MCA/Universal Merchandising is "Jurassic Park." Already the biggest movie of all time, Steven Spielberg's monster film about genetically engineered dinosaurs also is expected to be among the top-selling home videos of all time when it's released in October.
But Ms. Gelfand, 32, is interested in other measures of the brand's success. She'd like to conduct research on the impact of "Jurassic Park's" striking skeletal logo globally, measuring it against icons like Coca-Cola.
"We were able to take this logo and make it a brand around the world, and I think that helped the [movie] marketing effort tremendously," says Ms. Gelfand, who refers to "Jurassic Park" frequently as a brand, even though that term still isn't a movie-marketing standard.
Key to "Jurassic Park's" ubiquity around the globe was a promotional program painstakingly crafted by Ms. Gelfand and her Amblin Entertainment counterpart, Brad Globe, in the 18 months before Universal released the movie in June 1993.
In the U.S. alone, "Jurassic Park" is thought to have benefited from $60 million in promotional exposure, three-to-four times the movie's media ad budget. Similar support around the world came from 500 licensees and tie-in partners like McDonald's Corp.
"Using America as a model, there was that type of effort put into the release," Ms. Gelfand says, "whether it was in major territories like Germany or the United Kingdom, or in smaller territories, like Israel and Saudi Arabia."