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ABC Dials Digital Bucket to Promote Fall Season on DVD

ABC Television recently turned to emerging media and post studio Digital Bucket to create an innovative DVD promoting the network's new fall season. An entertaining and effective promo give-away, the DVD will inform viewers about the new programs, movies, returning ABC favorites and the TGIF franchise.

150,000 DVDs will be given away within the next month, beginning Aug. 14-17, 2003 at EXPN X Games IX; and at ABC's Primetime Preview Weekend at Disney's California Adventure Sept. 6-7. DVDs will also be placed in all packages bought through the Disney auction site on EBay, and in all gift bags at tradeshows where the fall season will be premiered.

"We saw EXPN's X Games as a unique opportunity to reach a key, demographic, and wanted to do so in a unique way," says Michael Benson, ABC's svp, marketing. "People are more motivated to sample a DVD these days, due to their unique features and content capabilities. Plus we felt it would be a cost-effective way to get the word out about our new fall lineup. We had worked with Digital Bucket on a highly successful DVD promoting ALIAS and didn't hesitate to turn to them again, not only for their technical expertise, but because of their relationship with Met/Hodder and understanding of our promotion and marketing strategy."

"With Met/Hodder's strong and enduring relationship with ABC Entertainment, we have been eager to find strategically smart ways for ABC to increase it's marketing reach by way of the new media channels that Digital Bucket offers such as DVD," explains Kent Hodder, exec creative director/co-founder of Digital Bucket and Met/Hodder. "It's always exciting to sit down with people who know their business so well and work with them closely to adapt their ideas and tactics to a new medium. ABC is all about great television, but to assume DVDs are simply 'TV on a disc' would be a deceptive simplification. In order for the product to work from both a technical and intuitive user interface perspective, Digital Bucket needed to not only utilize robust, top-of-the-line encoding and authoring equipment, but skilled motion menuing expertise in its animation and design staffs as well. Digital Bucket enjoyed not only planning the project with ABC, but exploring techniques unique to DVD."

The DVD opens with a high-energy, fast-paced two-minute clip highlighting ABC's new fall season. An interactive menu enables viewers to find out more about ABC's outrageous, new comedies (IT'S ALL RELATIVE, HOPE & FAITH, MARRIED TO THE KELLY'S"; dynamic dramas (KAREN SISCO, THREAT MATRIX, 10-8); as well as movies, returning favorites, and the TGIF franchise. The team at Digital Bucket was provided elements from ABC's 2003 season graphics package, promotional stills and ABC-produced clips. They designed the animated menus and transitions to give the fall 2003 DVD additional flair and excitement. They also completed authoring and pre-mastering, and supervised replication.

"We collaborated very closely with ABC on the creation of the menus and the navigation," notes Eric Long, Digital Bucket's exec producer. "They knew exactly what they wanted, which made our creative process very smooth since we all faced a very tight turnaround. Working within the timeline needed for replication, we completed the production phase within days."

Digital Bucket (www.digitalbucket.com), part of the Metropolitan Hodder Group, specializes in interactive and emerging media development and services. Digital Bucket's services include DVD authoring and pre-mastering, CD-ROM creation, Flash design and development, website development and media encoding. Digital Bucket also provides creative post services such as design, motion graphics, computer animation, editorial, plus music and sound design. Digital Bucket's success is due in large part to its unique relationship with sister company Met/Hodder, a creative branding, marketing and production company.

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