Cats Come Home

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

NEW YORK The longest-running musical on Broadway will finally be as close as your home TV. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats was filmed in a special London performance for home video; the tape marks the first time one of Webber’s musicals has been filmed on stage.

PolyGram hopes to push the video to mainstream audiences and not just theatergoers. Marketers there have lined up several significant promotions to herald the Oct. 27 release. The campaign will include discount air fares from Continental Airlines and mail-in rebate offers from Schweppes, Discover card, and Iams Cat Food.

Part of the reason for the anticipated wide appeal is the care that Webber himself took with the new video version. The play was shot using 16 different cameras and a 100-piece orchestra. PolyGram Video senior vp marketing Ken Graffeo says tests of the new video showed that 25 percent of people tested said they would buy the video, with the highest-ranked segment being families with children. “Even if you’ve gone to see the play, you haven’t seen this,” he says. “It’s been Webber’s lifelong dream to do this the way he wanted.”

Both Continental and Schweppes were natural partners because they are already sponsors of Live Broadway. Continental will offer a rebate of up to $375 on a full-fare ticket to people who buy the $24.95 video and then fly on Continental.

Schweppes is the video’s main partner, offering a $5 rebate for those who buy the video and Schweppes. The offer will land on 15 million bottles of Schweppes products and the company will support with $1.5 million of TV ads.

Discover will offer cardholders who buy the video with their Discover card a $5 cashback bonus. The company will trumpet the offer in billing statements to its 18 million cardholders.

Iams is perhaps the most natural fit for feline-full video. Iams customers can get the video through the mail for $8 off the suggested retail price.

PolyGram may release two Webber plays a year, with Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and Sunset Boulevard the next two under consideration.

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