Sony Pictures Entertainment Eat Pray Love

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Pro AwardsBest Campaign Targeting a Specific Demographic

Agency: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Campaign: Eat Pray Love
Client: Sony Pictures Entertainment

The Sony Pictures movie Eat Pray Love (EPL) opened in theaters August 2010. Based on The New York Times bestselling book by Elizabeth Gilbert, Sony needed to make the movie a summer hit among women 25-45. They sought top-tier partners who would help spread the word about the movie’s theme of ‘escape’, and provide compelling marketing support. They wanted to get the film message into non-traditional venues, leverage the equity of the book cover and bring Gilbert’s journey to life for the target audience, while driving box office sales.

They found their holy grail in Home Shopping Network (HSN). Sony did a complete network takeover of HSN for three days, which consisted of one day themed to Eat/Italy, one to Pray/ India and one to Love/ Bali. A total of 72 hours of dedicated EPL programming was utilized, through which 5 million women could buy products by designers from Italy, India and Bali.

The program was supported with :30 TV spots, print ads in Elle and Lucky, a 16-page travel journal, a program guide, direct mail, online, email and social networks. Footage was integrated into all programming. On-air sets were themed to EPL, and more than 500 unique items were created for sale. TV viewers and fans of the book were able to mirror Gilbert’s travels across their choice of Italy, India and Bali or all three.

Co-founders of health and beauty aid retailer Fresh were drawn to EPL as fragrance was a big part of their own spiritual journey. They created three perfumes and candles with custom co-branded EPL scents and packaging. Fresh supported the effort with PR, POS, window takeovers, Facebook, online and direct mail.

Custom EPL travel packages were marketed at college campuses. Other retail partners included Cost Plus, World Market, Republic of Tea, Borders and Dogeared Jewelry, whose owner has her own personal story of self-discovery. Cost Plus ran an online sweepstakes to drive awareness and participation.

The program received more than $2 million in PR value, while Cost Plus’ sweepstakes generated 1 million entries. More than 120 items sold out during the three-day event. The opening weekend of Eat Pray Love generated $23 million at the box office.

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