Introduction. "Song of the South" is one of the best known and most widely applauded animated/live-action feature film achievements of all time. Its timeless appeal spans all audiences, from children to senior citizens, with enthusiastic responses coming from both individuals as well as entire communities. It is a rare entertainment treat, offering the enrichment of educational and cultural values in art and music that are heartily endorsed by the widest segment of the moviegoing public. And that means you have an excellent promotional advantage in stimulating excitement for your own engagement. There are numerous showmanship possibilities available in promoting "Song of the South." Read the following recommendations and apply them to your own individual manner. Your showmanship efforts will create a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah engagement and everyone will be coming to your laughing place.
Wake Up Your Communities With Mailings. One of the best ways to add your personal touch to the "Song of the South" campaign is with direct mailings. Begin early, hopefully a month in advance of your opening, and address yourself personally to the opinion-making audience in your community. Tell them about your engagement in "Song of the South" and what it means to the cultural and educational climate of our society. The letters should emphasize the sparkling achievement of "Song of the South" as a beautiful entertaining blend of live-action and animation while at the same time conveying a timeless moral message. Here are some of the members of your community who would appreciate your concern: College educators (including heads of art, music and film departments), Principals (of high schools, junior high schools, and grammar schools), Women's Clubs, Civic Organizations and PTA's. A second category for mailings would include the general community. This would involve TV stations, newspapers (entertainment, music, art and dance editors). In addition, include community symphony organizations, service organizations, charitable groups and film societies.
Draw A Critter Contest. Some of the most delightful characters in "Song of the South," are the fable critters of the Briar Patch country. Reproduce a still like the one above in your local newspaper and invite your young readers to submit a drawing, in any media, of what their version of a Briar Patch critter would look like. This would make a great tie-in with an art supply store, shopping center or pet shop in your community.
Library Promotion. In "Song of the South" you have one of the most popular names in children's literature to use as a promotional spring board. Librarians will be delighted to work with you on exploitation to interest children in reading, and by the same token helping your box office. Use your public libraries, school libraries, and book and stationery stores. Suggest the use of Joel Chandler Harris' classic tales for storytelling hours. Donate a STORYTELLER album and provide theatrical display material (posters and stills). A Special Note: 1980 marks the hundredth anniversary of the publication of Joel Chandler Harris' works. Exploit this fact as a major promotion with schools and libraries.
Best of the Baddies Contest. Test the skill of the movie buffs in your city with this special contest. It will create excitement and promote your engagement of "Song of the South." Have the contestants name the animated villain and the film in which he perpetrated his villainy.
Pet Store Promotion. "Song of the South" is filled with a cast of the most fascinating animated animal personalities ever created for the screen. Contact your local pet store and promote a Briar Patch critter as a prize for one of your contests. Supply the pet store with posters and stills to decorate the window in which the prize critter is displayed.
Music Promotion. Promote Walt Disney's "Song of the South" with the melodic music and hilarious stories from this classic film represented on Disneyland Records. "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" and other songs from the film have become music classics, so they will be welcomed and enjoyed wherever they are played. The albums and tapes shown in this pressbook can be obtained for special promotional purposes by contacting your local Disneyland Record Distributor. You can play the music from this rollicking film in your theatre during intermission or try to get play on a local radio station as part of the regular program schedule or inserted in a "golden oldie" section, which many stations use sometime during each week. Set-up displays in record stores using posters and colorful stills from the film. Use the albums as prizes for your various contests and promotions. The tuneful albums from Disneyland Records will go a long way in pre-selling this classic Disney film.
Take Your Ballyhoo to the Air With Theatre Imprinted Balloons. Theatre imprinted balloons make magical floating announcements for your engagement of "Song of the South." One side of these high-sell balloons is the art pictured, and text on the opposite side is your theatre imprint copy. You can take advantage of the bouyand form of advertising in the following manner: 1. Distribute them at shopping centers, concentrating on children's and record stores. 2. Send them to hosts of youth oriented TV shows to give them away to kids on the show and in the audience. 3. Offer balloons to every child visiting your theater in advance of your playdate. 4. Use balloons in conjuction with your poster and window displays. The balloons are 7" in diameter and come in a wide variety of colors.
Coloring Contest. Generate excitement among younger audiences by running this fun-filled coloring contest in your local newspaper. It's a great way to create excitement about the return of the Disney cartoon classic, and help spread the news that "Song of the South" is coming to theatres in your community. Use the coloring contest as heralds in the playground, shopping centers, art oriented stores, and everywhere that kids congregate; and offer them to merchants as a means of tieing-in with this classic animated/live-action adventure.