Effective Marketing… Bundle Packaging

Go into any store selling movies these days and look at the new release selections, especially the Blue-Ray section. I’m going to wager a fairly safe bet that most of what you will see are Combo Packs – Blue-Ray & DVD versions together. Many of them, though, are starting to include digital copies as well, which I think is fantabulous. Sort of.

Here’s why they are awesome, in case it’s not obvious: You get both a Blue-Ray and DVD version. You have a BR player and you’re visiting friends that don’t? You’re covered. Travelling with a Laptop and only have a DVD drive? No problem. Travelling light and want to have several movies on your device of choice [laptop, iWhatever, etc] without carrying disks at all? Digital gets it done.

The only catch with the Digital piece of the BR/DVD/Digital combo packs is the redemption window. In most packages there will be a voucher or coupon code that can be used online (then, usu. in iTunes or similar service of choice) to download the digital copy. [There are a few that actually package a disk with the set that has a digital copy burned, that just needs to be transferred, but I’ve only seen this a handful of times, and only on one that I have bought.] It’s that voucher code that’s the kicker, because there’s a limited window of availability to redeem the code.

It’s that limited window, though, that makes the bundled packs a great marketing option: if someone really wants a specific movie, they may or may not get it when it first comes out, maybe waiting for it to go on sale or prices to drop a little. By bundling, however, it incentivises anyone that may be on the fence to buy in early, or rewards the faithful for buying early.

But here’s my example of that strategy backfiring: Paul. I wanted to get the movie, but it came out in August last year. I waited, giving the chance to receive it for either my birthday or for Christmas. I didn’t, but I did get a Best Buy gift card for Christmas. Shortly after Christmas, as movies were on sale, I took my card and went shopping.

At least, I tried to.

Paul was out of stock. I decided to save my card and return later. but it turned out that “later” wasn’t until the end of January. 29 January, to be precise. And the date sticks with me becuase I didn’t actually open the package until a few days later, and the date on the digital voucher? 29 January.

So, the combo packs are awesome if you get them early, but can be tricky if you want to get the digital version but wait to long to do so. I like them, and at the very least I prefer looking for the BR/DVD packs if they are out there.

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