MGM Film Promo Touts Free Coffee Across U.S., Canada

In a first for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios, 92 independent coffee shops in 59 cities in North America will offer free coffee on Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. to promote the studio's new release, "Feast of Love," which premieres on Sept. 28.

Additionally, in select locations customers will have the chance to obtain advance screening passes for the movie, copies of The Feast of Love paper back book authored by Charles Baxter and the movie's soundtrack.

"Feast of Love," directed by Academy Award-winning Robert Benton, who directed "Kramer vs. Kramer," is an ode to life and love in all its facets and centers on a coffee shop owner in Portland, Oregon.

Amy Elkins, senior vice president/marketing at MGM, tells Marketing Daily the idea came about during a department brainstorming session. "We were talking about ways to organically spread the word about the movie and gain awareness at the local level," she says. "Since 'Feast of Love' takes place in a local coffee shop, we felt it was a great opportunity to get some press on it, to leverage some of the local newspapers, tie into a screening program and create a little stunt."



The movie stars Academy Award-winner Morgan Freeman as local professor Harry Stevenson, who witnesses love and attraction whipping up mischief among the town's residents, including Academy Award nominee Greg Kinnear, Radha Mitchell, Billy Burke, Selma Blair, Alexa Davalos and Toby Hemingway with Jane Alexander and Fred Ward. All their stories intertwine into one remarkable romantic tale.

Confirmed coffee shops celebrating "Feast of Love" Coffee Day are listed on the movie's official Web site located at

Elkins, who has been with MGM on and off for nine years, sees the promotion as a "natural fit" between the movie's themes and its target audience. "There is something unique about coffee shops," she says. "People meet there for dating, as part of their morning routine. That's what we really wanted to convey, a slice of life. 'Feast of Love' is about all the shades of relationships."

In locating participating coffee shops, MGM "cast a wide net, dealing with markets on individual levels," she says. "We wanted to make it as national as possible." Free coffee is also being offered in Canada. "It was a lot of hustle and hard work for our local agencies."

But the payoff seems positive. "So far," says Elkins, "we have gotten good word of mouth."

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