Clipped From The Paris News
2C The Porii Naw», Sun.. Jan. 29. 1989 Entertainment group using imitators to lure consumers HOLLYWOOD AT THE MALL: Tiffany, the teen-age singer who got her start singing in shopping malls, clowns around with a Charlie Chaplin imitator during the kick off of "Magic of Hollywood" tour at the Topanga Plaza in Los Angeles. The AACA Inc. tour aims to swivel the heads of about four million mall visitors in 45 cities nationwide, in hopes of giving AACA a slim advantage in the fierce battle for sumers' leisure-time dollars. con- New Texas Chamber of Commerce head named Larry S. Milner, a former president of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, has been named president and chief executive officer of Milner is the chamber's first permanent chief executive. Rex Jennings, a former president and chief Classified Advertising Guaranteed, Results, 785-5538 DAAedicine show's transformed into the 'mall tour' By John Horn The Associated Press LOS ANGELES - In a glitzy update of an old sales gimmick, an entertainment conglomerate has transformed the 19th century medicine show into the mall tour, a celebration of consumerism aimed at America's "new Main Street." MCA Inc.'s "The Magic of Hollywood Tour," entering its first weekend on the road at the Topanga Plaza Shopping Center, aims to swivel the heads of about 4 million mall visitors in 45 cities nationwide, in hopes of giving MCA a slim advantage in the fierce battle for leisure-time dollars. "It's a very effective way of promoting MCA product," said Phil Rosenthal, vice president of MCA Event Marketing. "It takes us right to the consumer, right into the new Main Street — the shopping mall." Yet there are already indications that the mall tour, which MCA pioneered in launching teen-age singer Tiffany in a 1987 mall junket, may have become too popular for its own good. The scheduled opening of "The Magic of Hollywood Tour" was canceled last week when a Glendale fire marshal said unpredictable attendance could threaten shopper safety. And The Boys, an urban band that was to have performed alongside the more upscale Boys Club, was dropped from the tour soon after a local December mall concert featuring the quartet became unmanageable. "There was a potential for a major disaster there," said Sgt. Mike Effler. MCA says the band was dropped only because "they became too big" for mall venues. The mall tour's liability, though, is also its greatest virtue — free, unlimited access to entertainment. And that's why MCA is banking on strong turnouts across the country, from Seattle to Chicago to Miami to Houston. Using a live performance by the young vocalists Boys Club, interactive product displays, occasional celebrity appearances, Hollywood memorabilia and an assortment of carnival games with prizes, MCA can expose shoppers to all of its entertainment divisions in one invasion, • The entire tour, Rosenthal said, will cost less than $1 million. While MCA Records is the star attraction — Boys Club sings three songs to taped music, including its top 10 hit "I Remember Holding You" — Universal Pictures, MCA Home Video and the studio tour all receive exposure. MCA's video unit plugs the cassette for "E.T. the Extra- Terrestrial" while Universal Pictures displays posters for the new Tom Hanks film, "The 'Burbs." "I think the tour will help launch the Boys Club, and I think it will help build awareness for the various MCA divisions among consumers nationwide," said Brad Nye of Creative Entertainment Marketing, a firm developing mall tours. Boys Club member Gene Hunt said that when the group was offered the same promotion that made Tiffany a star, he said, "I looked at Tiffany and said, 'Yeah! I'll go with no shoes!" MCA is not the only company using America's shopping centers for national promotions. Mattel Toys has presented the "Barbie's Imagination" mall tour, complete with a real-life Barbie. Nestle has sponsored "The Raisinettes Summer Sunsations Fashions Show." Polaroid used a mall tour to generate renewed interest in instant photography for its Spectra Camera. And Mountain Dew has presented a nationwide mall tour highlighted by music videos. On March 31, Working Woman magazine, in cooperation with Jeep and Goodyear, will open its own mall tour. "We like to get out there and talk to our readers," said Andrea Kaplan, the magazine's director of corporate communications. "We think this is a very interactive, visual way to give information to women. I think it's very smart marketing." The Working Woman tour, set for 22 cities, will feature a fashion show, cooking classes, car displays, motivational speeches and exercise tips. An estimated 2.7 million people will see the presentations. "Our vision is that you bring a page of the magazine to life," Kaplan said. "It's almost like a mini women's World's Fair." On Aug. 28, 1963, about 200,000 people joined in a peaceful civil rights rally in Washington, where they heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his "I have a dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.