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Granny Klump's a Star on Screen and Online

Universal Pictures is calling the viral marketing campaign surrounding the Granny Klump character in “The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps,” one of its most successful ever.

The promotion, which invites Internet users to download an interactive Granny Klump character onto their desktops or forward the character to others, has recorded 1.2 million downloads. In addition, the campaign has registered a pass-along rate of 23 percent.

“Viral [promotions] are always a component of our overall online marketing strategy,” said Kevin Campbell, vice president of new media marketing at Universal Pictures, Universal City, CA. “It just so happens that in this instance Granny was the crown jewel of the viral marketing efforts we've done.”

Campbell said the downloads enabled Universal to extend the Nutty Professor/Klumps brand from the Internet onto the user's desktop. The Granny Klump download has been available on the film's Web site as well as America Online, AOL/Moviefone, Compuserve, Checkout.com, Oprah.com, DefJam.com, BET.com and others.

It was also promoted on screenmates.com, a site owned by AdTools Inc., the viral and e-mail marketer Universal hired to develop the campaign. Mark Wachen, CEO of AdTools' parent company, Indimi, New York, said AdTools designed the Granny Klump image so viewers could select to download the character or e-mail it to a friend. Once downloaded, the character recites a preprogrammed message and moves around the desktop.

After the program runs, the character displays links to other Web sites. Most notable is a link to the AOL/Moviefone site where users can purchase tickets online. The companies said the downloads did convert into some ticket sales, but would not be specific.

“It is an important part of our marketing mix to help the consumer connect the dots,” Campbell said. “Our goals are not just to entertain and inform but also to offer technology that enables the consumer to complete the transaction.”

While he said the Nutty Professor/Klumps brand was a strong and popular one at the moment, Campbell also credited the AdTools download tool for the viral success.

“You can have the greatest viral promotion in the world but if the [downloading] tool isn't compelling people aren't interested,” he said.

The campaign began about two months prior to the film’s July 28 release and will continue at least as long the film's theatrical run.

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