Video Business: February 16, 2009 – “Dove Unveils New Initiatives”


Foundation offers more programs for retailers, consumers

By Robyn McCloskey — Video Business, 2/16/2009

The Dove Foundation (dove.org), the 19-year-old Grand Rapids, Mich.-based nonprofit that reviews movies and DVDs and awards its seal to those deemed suitable for family viewing, is unveiling several new initiatives that will likely increase recognition of the Dove seal as a stamp of approval for family programming.

For video retailers, Dove is bringing back its Dove POP materials and stick-on Dove seals. At one time, more than 1,700 video stores and supermarkets displayed Dove POP materials and seals, according to Scott Rolfe, director of operations for Dove, which was co-founded by his father, CEO Dick Rolfe. When supermarkets began exiting the video business, eventually only 30% of the clients for the POP program remained, and it was shut down. But recently, there has been renewed interest from retailers, so Dove has decided to reinstitute the program, Scott Rolfe says. It’s being revamped to contain updated text as well as a modernization of the materials.

Dove also has a new program for CBA stores and similar retailers, offering them the chance to stock edited versions of films they otherwise wouldn’t carry. In addition to the “Family Approved” seal, which is a distinct picture of a white dove on a blue background, Dove also offers the “Family Filtered” seal with the same easily identifiable white dove but on a green background. The latter is for movies that can be played on a ClearPlay DVD player, whose pre-set filters automatically remove material that could be deemed objectionable. Now, Dove will offer a third version, a “Family Edited” seal (white dove, purple background), to be used by producers who have edited their movies based on suggestions from Dove’s new In-Depth Content Analysis. These films will be available in two forms: the original edition and a second version edited to meet Dove’s criteria. “First Look was lucky to be the first studio to take advantage of the Dove Foundation’s In-Depth Content Analysis, so we could release an appropriate version of Smoke Jumper for the CBA market,” says Brooke Ford, executive VP of marketing for First Look Studios. “With Smoke Jumper, we were able to take a film that would have been initially rejected by this audience due to language issues and use Dove’s detailed feedback to create an exclusive CBA version of the film.”

For consumers, Dove, along with Parents Television Council and Plain Games, has partnered with Family Entertainment Assn. to bring about FamilyEntertainmentCentral.org, a one-stop location for all the latest information and reviews about movies, DVDs, TV programs, videogames and more. FEC’s mission falls in line with Dove’s commitment to Judeo/Christian values and its own mission statement: “to encourage and promote the creation, production, distribution and consumption of wholesome family entertainment.”

Also for the consumer market, Dove currently licenses its movie reviews to ChristianCinema.com, FamilyChristian.com and Axiom.tv, a streaming media Web site. Dove’s own site is used by more than 200,000 people monthly, Scott Rolfe says. In 2005, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment began its close partnership with Dove through FoxFaith.com, and the relationship is strengthening. “This Easter, we are launching our Dove-endorsed line look, an industry first, which includes over a dozen Fox film favorites out of our library of over 50 Dove-endorsed movies,” says Cara Withers, director of marketing and new releases at Fox.

  • Dove also is working on becoming a major content provider for Tangle.com, a Web site formerly called GodTube and known as a faith-oriented version of YouTube.
  • Finally, Dove is revamping the Dove Movie Channel, whose purpose is to provide uplifting movies to patients in all children’s hospitals in America free of charge. After the program is updated for changes in technology, it should be available to all qualified hospitals in the beginning of 2010 and will show only movies bearing the Dove “Family Approved” Seal.