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USPS To Co-Market 'Grinch' With Universal

The U.S. Postal Service will work with Universal Pictures and Universal Studios Consumer Products Group to co-market the “Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas” movie release.

The movie, starring Jim Carrey and directed by Ron Howard, will be released Nov. 17 by Universal Pictures, the film entertainment division of Universal Studios Inc., and Imagine Entertainment. Universal Pictures announced the deal last week.

Beginning Nov. 1, the USPS will sell exclusive merchandise in more than 33,000 of its post offices and retail outlets nationwide based on the Whoville post office and Whoville characters in the film. Merchandise will include ornaments, a children's magnetic play set and stationery-related items. Universal Studios Consumer Products Group is developing the exclusive merchandise.

Post offices will be decorated with movie posters, and the agency will incorporate Whoville imagery on a series of holiday cards offered yearly in conjunction with Hallmark Cards. The USPS' Web site, www.usps.com, will also feature Whoville imagery. The USPS will place “Happy Wholidays” indicia on the millions of canceled cards, letters and packages the postal service receives each year.

The postal service has been in the movie business before, when it promoted a Beatles stamp for the release of “The Yellow Submarine” on VHS and DVD last year. However, the Whoville promotion marks the agency's first tie-in with a motion picture release.

The USPS decided to participate in the co-marketing tie-in after DraftWorldwide, Chicago, one of the postal service's four advertising agencies, was approached by Universal with the idea.

“We saw that the Whoville post office plays a central role in the film, and as a result saw a natural synergy there,” said Beth Goss, senior vice president of national promotions at Universal Pictures, Universal City, CA.

“We are delighted to be associated with the good feeling and spirit of the season the movie brings,” said Allen Kane, USPS' chief marketing officer and senior vice president. “The Whoville post office is central to the film's holiday celebration and the exchange of holiday greetings and gifts. This ties in perfectly with the image of the U.S. Postal Service as America's most trusted carrier of holiday cards and packages.”

Gerry Kreinkamp, a USPS spokesman, said the co-marketing agreement would not cost the USPS anything because “we always budget for some sort of in-store advertising during the holiday season. This year, however, we are going to incorporate the Whoville imagery.”

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