In an effort to bolster sales of Joni Mitchell's latest album, Geffen Records is offering a free promotional longform video through national music/video chains.
The 30-minute video, "Night Ride Home," is available to patrons when they rent any video at participating outlets. The customer then returns it with the paid rental. The longform contains excerpts from Mitchell's recent VH-1 interview, performance clips, and the video for her latest single, "Come In From The Cold."
The 30-minute video is not available for sale; however, a separate Mitchell longform will be released in October.
In many cases, the free-rental promotion is being run in conjunction with a special on the album -- also called "Night Ride Home" -- although advertising buys have not linked the two together.
The response from the accounts has been positive, says Robin Rothman, Geffen's director of marketing services. Consumer response is more difficult to gauge. The album, which debuted on Billboard's Top Pop Albums chart in March and peaked at No. 41 in April, slipped off the chart earlier this month.
According to Rothman, close to 5,000 stores are participating in the promotion. Among the chains involved are WaxWorks, Wherehouse Entertainment, Sound Warehouse, Turtle's, Spec's, selected Tower stores, and the few rental stores run by Camelot Music and National Record Mart.
The promotion, which began in June and runs through the summer, was planned as a way to expose fans to the new album. "We felt it would open up the door if they didn't know about Joni's new record or didn't watch VH-1 or didn't listen to alternative radio stations," Rothman says. "Since Joni isn't touring, this is another avenue to promote the new release and her current catalog."
Similarly, Geffen is using the strategy of tying in video with audio product for hard rock/metal act Warrior Soul. Beginning in early August, 200 retail accounts -- selected by Concrete Marketing -- will receive special packages of the album shrink-wrapped with a free three-video collection. In addition to the stores targeted by Concrete, the set will also be available at Tower Records.
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