Two of the biggest players in the gay sex industry are celebrating the September 23 mail-order release of Manhunt.TheMovie, a joint venture between video company Hot House Entertainment and online hook-up site Manhunt.net.
"What makes this movie unique from a marketing perspective is the level of co-branding," says Hot House creative director Brent Smith. "It's a classic trick in the modern marketplace to take two big brands such as Manhunt and Hot House and bring them together for one big bang."
Part of the co-branding process, Smith says, was to modify the Manhunt logo very slightly to produce the title treatment for the movie. "Hot House art director Michael "Roma" Williams took colors from the Manhunt site for use on the DVD box," Smith said. "The eleven models each have their own Manhunt.net username, such as Dick Wolf's "musclpup"and Arpad Miklos' "HUNGarianTop," and the scenes are set up with animations of users in cyberspace scoping each other out online."
"Cross-promotion is exactly what has helped Manhunt leap to the forefront of the online hook-up sites," Phil Henricks, director of marketing for Manhunt.net, said. "Hot House is on a roll right now, and we're beyond pleased with the exposure we will get from this video from in-store displays to online-store banners to DVD players around the world."
One of the cross-promotional tools, Henricks says, is placing "a coupon inside every DVD good for a free month's membership to Manhunt.net. This provides a further incentive for men who've never tried us to check out the site and see how easy it is to use."
The movie itself might be incentive enough: After Wolf steps into a deserted bar looking to get laid, he ends up returning home to use Manhunt.net to hook up. Manhunt.TheMovie's five scenes were suggested to Steven Scarborough, Hot House president, by actual members of Manhunt.net.
"We put an ad up on Manhunt asking members to tell us about their hottest Manhunt hook-ups,” Scarborough explained. “What we've produced is a real-life look at what's going on around the country twenty-four hours a day. The era of waiting until night to meet a trick in a bar is kind of over now."
Manhunt.TheMovie is available online exclusively at HotHouse.com. The title will be available in stores on November 19.