Copy That!

A DVD or Blu-ray on a shelf acts as a mini-billboard for itself. And just like that ginormous billboard hovering over the freeway, every single aspect of the artwork is intentional (and sometimes even legally required.)

When it comes to physical goods, a title has to speak quickly and clearly to potential purchasers. We aim to strike a balance between the rational and the emotional parts of the human brain, moving from “Hmmm, this looks like something I might like” to “Yes! (adds to cart)” in the space of a few seconds.

We gave the feedback, our partners at Quiver delivered!

At Distribution Solutions, marketing and design professionals are hard at work to blend art and commerce in a way that’s going to drive purchase intent…for the benefit of our label partners. Everyone wins if we get it right!

Striking imagery is the first thing that likely catches a consumer’s eye, but then the box copy gets right to work. Because we only have a few seconds with a customer in a store aisle in an Amazon search, each and every character of the text on a DVD or Blu-ray cover has to pull its weight.

Design provided by 4Digital; tagline and concept by Distribution Solutions.

At Distribution Solutions, whether we’re designing the art (or providing feedback), our partners know that each element we include (or suggest) supports the recommendations found during our SWOT analysis of the title.

Collaborated concept: ITN Distribution and Distribution Solutions

If you’ve been out in the world and seen a DVD before, then you’ll know the key components of key art copy. But we’ll mention them here anyway so that we can elaborate on what each bit of copy brings to the table.

  • Title Treatment: Color, typeface, and design convey the film’s genre and tone. Great place to weave in genre iconography or go with a font that evokes a time period.
  • Tagline: Adds context and sells the premise of the film. This can be a difficult thing to write. Needs to be concise and as original as possible. (The DS team flat out loves tagline brainstorming, so our partners know they can count on us to get there!)
  • Press Quotes: Communicate the critical acclaim and serve as a hallmark of quality, while the sources contextualize who is recommending. With the right set of quotes, a tagline is rendered unnecessary. A great situation!

Our goal is to make the most out of the few seconds our label partners’ titles have with a potential purchaser, whether it be in the aisles of a big-box retailer or a digital storefront during an at-home browse.

Feedback from Distribution Solutions, final art delivered by Magnolia.

To learn more about our process and talk to us about the intersection of art and commerce, drop us a line at studios@ds.aent.com. And one more for the road…

Horror and twisted humor go together like baby teeth and cash rewards. Design courtesy of ITN Distribution, with creative input from Distribution Solutions.

Sell It, Don’t Tell It

You’re on the couch, at the end of some kind of quasi-soul crushing week that has left you in a state of agitation. You pick up the remote and fire up your favorite app. Destination: Complete and Utter Escape. You’re seeking a cheesy rom-com guilty-pleasure (that you would never admit to having watched) — and you need it STAT!

You browse the rows upon rows of tantalizing movie posters, expanding those that show promise (or that you haven’t already watched). Your eyes stop at the attractive couple on the artwork for a new indie film called The Love Errand. Okay, you think…and you pause to skim the text that will guide your journey’s next step.

And you read: “Gina, a secretary who is also a single mom, is angry when her boss, David, asks her to run an errand that takes her to a sketchy part of town when she is supposed to be at her son’s school but ends up finding love with a shopkeeper at a bookstore.”

…and you return to the main menu with a shudder.

Womp-womp…wilted romance-like.

The above (entirely fictitious) example meets the “250 characters-including-spaces” long synopsis limit. And that is the only thing it is doing right. But stay tuned, rom-com fan and savvy marketer…help is on the way:

An effective synopsis that fits within common character-count restrictions is the goal…and fortunately, with a sense of imagination, a thorough knowledge of the content, and thesaurus.com, there are a few basic rules to go from ‘meh’ to “yeah!”

  1. Don’t include character names. No one cares about fictitious characters and they eat up valuable story-telling space. (Exception: your documentary. For sure include the name of a notable subject!)
  2. Sell It – Don’t Tell It! (As they say in the biz) You want to intrigue the audience so that they feel that little spark of “wonder what happens next” and dive into the super amazing trailer you created.
  3. Be judicious with adjectives. Don’t overdo it, quantity-wise — and use words that will appeal to the genre’s target audience. Again, the ‘synonyms’ function in Microsoft Word is your friend…you can whittle away quite a bit of character count by choosing wisely here.

Easy-peasy!

Now, let’s rewind…to that moment when The Love Errand was still under consideration. You click and read:

“A single mom, working for a top publisher, finds herself in a race against time‚Ķwith a daunting list of errands for her demanding boss. Sparks fly when her tasks put her on a collision course with a handsome bookseller with a To-Do list of his own.”

We both know what happens next…

Enjoy your movie! (Your secret’s safe with us.)

For more exciting tips like this, drop us a line…we’ve got a million of ’em. studios@ds.aent.com!