Season Six Alternative Packaging Program (lost audio from phone number based on "The Simpsons" animated TV sitcom; 2005-2011)
The flyer contained in The Simpsons The Complete Sixth Season DVD box set advertising the "Season 6 Alternative Packaging Program" phone number.
On August 16th, 2005, "The Complete Sixth Season" DVD box set for the animated series The Simpsons was released. The set received controversy due to the shape and durability of the box itself, and it not fitting the style of the other seasons' boxes. Due to this criticism, 20th Century Fox released a humorous program titled the "Season Six Alternative Packaging Program", where people could call a specific number and be directed to a website where a cardboard box similar to the other seasons could be ordered.
History & Controversy
As mentioned earlier, after The Simpsons "The Complete Sixth Season" DVD box set was revealed and eventually released, it received much controversy from the general public, specifically DVD collectors that had collected the first five seasons of the show on DVD. Much of the controversy stemmed from that the box, a plastic case shaped like Homer Simpsons' head, did not stem from the fact that the design in itself was bad, but it did not fit the cardboard box style the other five seasons boxes had, making it stand out much more on a shelf. The box also received criticism for the fact that it was made out of a very flimsy and cheap plastic, making it prone to not snap together correctly as intended.
20th Century Fox and The Simpsons team knew about many of the criticisms that the box had received, as shortly before the release of the set, a semi-humorous program was set up titled the "Season Six Alternative Packaging Program". In the DVD box set, a flyer was contained advertising the program (shown in the infobox), which stated:
For all those that fear change...
For all those anal-retentive nerds who like their DVD boxes to line up perfectly on the shelf...
For all those who dislike storing their digital media inside a hollowed-out human head, have we got a deal for you:
Once the phone number was called, a voice clip of Homer Simpson would play, who waffles back and forth between calling that it's a hoax or a real offer, with the number directing you to go to www.simpsonsbox.com (now an unrelated site that will give a computer malware). Homer's voice was described as not being voiced his regular voice actor, Dan Castellaneta, but instead a soundalike.
Once on the site, you would be directed through various humorous steps on how to get a new box, such as various "requirements" to be met, and a humorous drop-down menu to state the reason why you want a new box. After all details were entered into a form, you could get a brand new box for free, including $3.00 US ($4.95 Canadian) for shipping and handling.
The "Season Six Alternate Packaging Program" would run until around April 2011, with both the domain name for the website not being active and the phone number becoming out of service sometime after.
While much of the original simpsonsbox.com website is still archived on the Wayback Machine, the original phone number's audio with Homer used to direct people towards the site has not been heard since the program has ended in 2011 and is now considered lost. It is currently unknown if 20th Century Fox or Disney still has the audio in their possession.
- The Simpsons (partially found deleted scenes of Fox animated sitcom; 1989-present)
- The Simpsons (partially found scripts for unproduced episodes of Fox animated sitcom; 1990s)
- The Simpsons "Some Enchanted Evening" (partially found original pilot of Fox animated sitcom; 1989-1990)
- The Simpsons Movie (partially found alternate versions and deleted scenes of animated comedy film; 2007)
- Fox Kids "Bartcasting" (partially found "The Simpsons" promo on children's program block; 1996)
- Currys (partially found "The Simpsons" Sky One sponsorships ads from British electronics retailer; 2009-2010)
- Al-Shamshoon (partially lost unaired Arabic dubbed episodes of "The Simpsons" animated series; 2005)
- The number shown on the flyer was actually incorrect for some time, as instead of 1-800-223-2369, the actual number was 1-888-223-2369.
- Quarter To Three forum thread about the box set. Retrieved 27 Jun '21
- Kid Leaves Stoop video on the season six box controversy. Retrieved 27 Jul '21
- An archive of the main page for simpsonsbox.com, captured on September 25th, 2005. Retrieved 27 Jul '21
- Quarter to Three forum thread about the box set comment about the Homer soundalike. Retrieved 27 Jul '21
- An archive of the requirements page for simpsonsbox.com, captured on November 9th, 2005. Retrieved 27 Jul '21
- An archive of the drop-down menu page for simpsonsbox.com, captured on July 7th, 2006. Retrieved 27 Jul '21
- Archived captures stating the "Season Six Alternate Packaging Program" ending in 2011. Retrieved 27 Jul '21