111 Overview of Press Kits*

  • Key Forms of Release Marketing ~ Types of Publicity Resources
  • Compilation of Marketing Resources: Paper Press Kits, Digital Press Kits, Brochures, and Booklets

KEY FORMS OF RELEASE MARKETING ~ TYPES OF PUBLICITY RESOURCES

This section lists various forms of marketing provided to different audiences, in preparation for the release of the movie itself, or various editions of DVD/VHS media. These include:

Paper Press Kits (sometimes abbreviated as PK or PKs). PKs usually include a high-quality two-pocket 9″ x 12″ folder. The folder often shows special design or printing features to make it more distinctive, such as die-cut patterns, embossing, metallic foil lettering or symbols, holographs, etc. PKs also usually include some combination of cover letter with official contact lists for further details, press releases, production notes, photographs, CD-ROM press kit disc, brochures or booklets on related products, camera-ready ad slicks, quotes, and reviews.

Note: Because a paper press kit might be customized for a particular purpose, it is possible that not all of them from the same film edition will contain the exact same set of items. I get this sense from having had a few press kits from the same LOTR film and edition pass through my collection where the contents differed. This could be because of intentional customization by the distributors, or it could just be that an eBay seller combined several items from the same film/edition in the same lot. I only say this in case you end up with a press kit that differs from the contents I’ll be listing from the ones I’ve had.

Press Books (sometimes spelled all as one word, pressbook). This term describes those books or booklets that have some kind of synopsis of the film, all the way to the equivalent of the entire production notes for the film and its various special features. Pressbooks are usually illustrated with photographs from both the film itself and behind the scenes. For the LOTR Trilogy, there were some shorter booklets for the films or for post-season awards consideration, and those had wider distribution. There were also some rather exceptionally designed and high-quality-print pressbooks distributed at the Cannes Film Festivals, to cast and crew, and to others fortunate enough to be on a list for such a limited-edition memento.

Other Paper-Based Items. For each film in the LOTR Trilogy, there were typically some combination of items available: high-quality Production Notes, “For Your Consideration” advertisement materials, product booklets and brochures, etc. These often contain highly designed printing, with unusual colors or techniques, vellum overleafs, unusual construction techniques like die-cuts or gatefolds, rarely seen concept art and/or photographs, symbols, icons, and such like.

Digital Press Kits. These were produced to promote the release of the movie in theaters. While the elements are there for media professionals to produce articles and reviews, there are usually fun items that are unique to press kits. Typically, digital press kits include any combination of digital materials including: photographs plus captions, posters, title treatments, trailers, press releases, screensavers, wallpapers, buddy icons, e-notes, character guides, maps, etc.

Digital Asset Kits (sometimes seen on eBay or elsewhere abbreviated as DAK or DAKs). These typically were sent to sales outlets who would be buying LOTR video products wholesale and reselling them. DAKs include information about promotional campaigns, along with downloadable advertising materials for use in print (e.g., camera-ready ad slicks in black and white and color) and on the web (e.g., JPGs of DVD/VHS covers, screenshots of DVD menu pages). DAKs often include fun elements, such as contests, intriguing and unique interfaces, trivia, interactive features, photos from the film.

Official Sales Promotional Kits – P.O.P. (Point of Purchase) Kits. For each LOTR film, the official promotional kit included a set of 12 pins/badges, plus a combination of vinyl window cling, posters, and point-of-sale shelf tags. These were shipped in a custom-size plain cardboard box to stores where the LOTR video products would be sold.

Other types of promotions included print ads, posters, postcards, pins, etc.).

For the details of these various materials on a given film release, see 120 Films, or for DVD/Blu-ray Releases, see sections 130 DVD Theatrical, 140 DVD Extended, 150 DVD Gift/Platinum, 160 Limited, 170 Blu-ray Theatrical, and 180 Blu-ray Extended.

COMPILATION OF MARKETING RESOURCES:

PAPER PRESS KITS, DIGITAL PRESS KITS, BROCHURES, AND BOOKLETS

The collection I gathered for this media case study project represents a very comprehensive selection of press and promotional materials directly related to the releases of the LOTR films in theatres, and both Theatrical and Extended DVD/VHS editions. After 10+ years of watching for such press materials on eBay, I have reason to believe that this is close to complete. (If you know of other North American paper or digital press kits, booklets, brochures, or other press materials, please let me know!)

In this section, I have analyzed the kinds of materials collected, and the scale of what they represent in terms of overall resources made available to publicize and promote The Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogy.

Note: This compilation does not include official LOTR pressbooks.

CD-ROMs and DVDs ~ Digital Press Kits,

Digital Asset Kits (DAKs), In-Store Samplers

Movie

  • FOTR Movie Digital Press Kit [2 discs – Photography and Special Materials]
  • TTT Movie Digital Press Kit [2 discs – Photography and Special Materials]
  • TTT Movie Additional Special Effects Digital Press Kit [1 disc]
  • ROTK Movie Digital Press Kit [2 discs – Photography and Special Materials]
  • ROTK Movie Digital Press Kit ~ Additional Photography [1 disc]
  • ROTK Movie Digital Press Kit ~ Preview 2003 [1 disc – Additional Photography]

Theatrical Edition DVD/VHS Release

  • TTT Theatrical Edition DAK – Digital Assets Kit [1 disc]
  • ROTK Theatrical Edition DAK ~ Digital Assets Kit [1 disc]

Extended Edition DVD/VHS Release

  • FOTR In-Store Extended Edition DVD Sampler, Case, and Cover Letter [1 disc/DVD]
  • TTT Special Extended Edition – Digital Press Kit [1 disc – Additional Photography]
  • ROTK Extended Edition DAK ~ Digital Assets Kit [1 disc]

Paper Press Kits and “Partner Packets”

Movie

As far as my knowledge goes, there were no paper press kits with folders, information packets, slides, photos, etc., produced for the film releases of any of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The closest thing to a printed resource would be bound booklets of production notes given to media personnel and film previewers/reviewers. However, all comprehensive media/press materials were distributed via digital press kits on CD-ROM.

Theatrical Edition DVD/VHS Release

  • FOTR Theatrical Edition Paper Press Kit for DVD/VHS Release [folder, 5 information packets with 19 pages, 10 slides, 1 photo] – 5 packets with 19 pages
  • FOTR Retailer’s Licensing and Press Materials for Theatrical Edition DVD/VHS Release [packet; includes booklet]  – 4 information packets with 13 pages; 4 ad slicks; “Discover the Power of a Motion Picture Phenomenon”
  • TTT Paper Press Kit ~ Theatrical Edition Release [folder and 10 information packets with 31 pages]
  • ROTK Theatrical Edition Paper Press Kit [folder and 4 information packets with 15 pages]

Extended Edition DVD/VHS Release

  • FOTR Paper Press Kit ~ Extended Edition Release [folder, cover letter, 3 information packets with 11 pages, 8 color slides, 8 page booklet, DVD booklet with chapters and special features listings, DVD box set back cover contents sheet, Gift Set contents sheet, flyer about tickets for TTT]
  • TTT Paper Press Kit ~ Extended Edition Release [folder and 4 information packets with 10 pages]
  • ROTK Extended Edition Paper Press Kit [folder and 3 information packets with 12 pages]

Brochures (folded but not bound) and Booklets (stapled)

Note: The following does not include Awards promotional booklets, or the SFX Press Kit that was distributed for consideration of an Academy Award for special effects in The Fellowship of the Ring.

Movie

  • FOTR Movie In-Theatre Marketing and Promotions Guide ~ Oversized Brochure and Information Sheets [packet] – 4 pages + brochure

Theatrical Edition DVD/VHS Release

  • ROTK “Complete Trilogy Guide” to Media [as of ROTK Theatrical Edition Release]

Extended Edition DVD/VHS Release

  • FOTR Retailer’s Promotional Booklet for Extended Edition DVD/VHS Release ~ “A Whole New Movie Experience”
  • TTT Retailer’s Booklet for Extended Edition: “A Remarkable Film is Now an Entirely New DVD Experience”
  • ROTK Oversized Brochure Plus 3 Ad Slicks for Extended Edition

Resource Types and Totals

In compiling the elements from all of the promotional pieces listed above, here is what they contain:

  • 346 photographs from the films and behind-the-scenes production work.
  • 227 pages of film production notes and cast/crew credits.
  • 34 information packets with a total of 119 pages of information, from 5 paper press kits, 1 licensing materials packet, and 1 theatre promotion packet.
  • 14 discs – 13 CD-ROMs (9 CDs for Movies, 2 CDs for Theatrical Editions, 2 CDs for Extended Editions) and 1 DVD (sampler).
  • 9 clips and trailers.
  • 7 ad slicks.
  • 4 booklets.
  • 2 oversized brochures (folded, not stapled).