A Bug's Life to be Offered in Four Flavors

When is a choice not a choice at all? When the same product comes in different packages. In April, the Disney/Pixar computer-animated hit movie A Bug's Life will hit the stores in four different boxes. Each box will highlight a different character from the film. The intention is to grab the children's-video market by its eager eyeballs.

Marketing to children is something that Disney knows extremely well. The company's The Lion King, another wildly popular animated feature, is the best-selling video of all time: more than 30 million copies sold.

A Bug's Life has also been hugely successful, earning more than $150 million from US theaters alone. The $27 video of the film will contain both versions of the "outtakes" that appear during the closing credits, as well as another Pixar short, Geri's Game, which played with A Bug's Life in the theatrical release.

Appropriately enough, the marketing technique of multiple packaging was introduced with Alvin Toffler's 1970 best-selling book Future Shock, which examines the stress induced by an overabundance of choice (among other topics). The paperback version of the book was issued in several different colors, like cars---identical except for the paint. The startling tactic was quickly adopted by marketeers of every variety.