HSN, Sony promote 'Eat Pray Love' movie with direct mail, integrated effort

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HSN has partnered with Sony Pictures to launch an integrated campaign for the upcoming film 'Eat Pray Love,' based on the bestselling book. The campaign includes a significant direct mail push, as well as online advertising, mobile media, print advertising, television ads, PR and events.

HSN and Sony developed all campaign creative in-house. The company will distribute the direct mail pieces in mid-July to build momentum for the three-day shopping event next month, which is comprised of 72 hours of original programming on August 6, 7 and 8 that will feature products tied to the film, which debuts August 13.

“There are different phases to build awareness and inspire customers to tune in and ultimately make a purchase,” said Brand.

The film focuses on the character (and book author) Elizabeth Gilbert, who after a painful divorce embarks on a worldwide trip in order to re-connect with her inner-self. Many parts of the campaign are designed to take HSN customers on a journey with the main character, said Bill Brand, EVP of programming, marketing and business development for HSN. Gilbert has gained visibility since the book's publication in 2007, appearing on Oprah more than once to discuss her journey.

The company will distribute 350,000 August Jewelry Guide direct mail pieces beginning July 25. One mail piece is a catalog designed to look like a travelogue. It will have 16 pages featuring locations in the film with products corresponding to that region. For instance, the catalog will offer a Delonghi pasta machine that is meant to conjure images from Italy. The goal is to allow consumers to experience the products and take a journey through the creative.

“It's all about surprising and delighting our customers,” said Brand.

HSN is using its database of home addresses, e-mail and cell phone consumer information throughout the campaign. Its main demographic target is women ages 35 to 54.

The shop-from-home network will begin an e-mail marketing push near the time of the three-day original programming event. Consumers can now visit the Eat Pray Love landing page on the HSN site, where they can sign up for e-mail alerts on film-related events and purchase products.

HSN will also show banner ads to tell consumers when to watch the show. Consumers can shop directly from their phones as well, which Brand said is increasingly important for the network.  

HSN has created various newsletters to send to customers, including one for DirectTV subscribers, as well as a VIP Access newsletter for its private label credit card holders. There will also be a program guide — set up like a TV guide — for shoppers. The August cover will feature Eat Pray Love among several products HSN sells.

The goal of the direct marketing elements is customer retention, said Brand.

“We want to inspire customers to shop again and watch this great event,” he said.

To capture new customers, HSN has created full-page ads that will be seen in Elle and Lucky magazines, he added.

A Sony Pictures representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

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