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Back Talk: Do Summer Film Tie-Ins Help Brands Pop?

Summer is upon us, bringing with it an onslaught of summer movie blockbusters, and more importantly for marketers, a reminder of the potential power of promotional tie-ins. The Avengers is a certified hit, and since Acura is the vehicle of choice for S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, the film serves as a powerful example of tie-ins that will benefit dealerships across the globe. Carl’s Jr. launched via its website The Amazing Spider Man Video Game Instant Win more than a month in advance of the flick’s July 3 release date; will this tie-in be a success? Will Johnny Rockets restaurants be singing a good tune with its promotional tie-in with Rock of Ages? And, of course, will the much-anticipated release of The Dark Knight Rises become a promotional windfall for tie-in product Mountain Dew?

Perhaps the most impressive campaign of the season so far came last month for the under-performing motion picture Battleship. Promotional partners ranging from Coke Zero, Kraft and Subway Restaurants, to Chevron ExtraMile, Hilton, the U.S. Navy and others provided more than $50 million in marketing support backing Battleship. Notably for Coca Cola, the film’s director, Peter Berg, directed a Battleship-themed spot for Coke Zero.

Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but summer is a good time for many brands to up their exposure. While marketers cannot predict box office returns, we do know consumers are focused on big screens.

Which prompts the question: With the increasing number of summer blockbuster tie-ins, are these types of promotions still effective in building top-of-mind awareness and sales? What is the best motion picture tie-in you’ve seen in recent years?

Please leave a comment in the section below, or join the conversation on the Vertical Marketing Network Facebook page.

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About JJ Nelson

Freelance blogger for Vertical Marketing Network; food writer; bartender.

3 comments on “Back Talk: Do Summer Film Tie-Ins Help Brands Pop?

  1. Mark
    July 31, 2012

    From a brand point of view, sometimes less is more – take The Avengers from Marvel just recently – a couple of months along from the theatrical release, how many of the brand promotions can you recount?

    And yet, at the time of release The Avengers were EVERYWHERE. You couldn’t escape them – whether it was Dr. Pepper character cans, Hershey’s, Farmers Insurance, Pizza, it was EVERYWHERE – a lot of exposure for the studio, but for the brand?

    Hard to conclude the outcome for the brand without solid, raw, data for back-up but I’m not sure I’d agree with previous posts about cross-promotions fostering lasting emotional connections to a brand – rather, I think it’s an excellent opportunity for a brand to piggy-bag on the hype of a summer blockbuster whilst offering their customers incentives to buy their products.

    Like

  2. Kate
    June 12, 2012

    Once of the best film partnerships that I have seen is still America Airlines and Up in the Air. The airline fit perfectly into the storyline, so it wasn’t in-you-face product placement. They airline then promoted the film to is passengers adding value to both the film and the airline. Partnerships that are ‘natural’ fits like Sex and The City and Skyy Vodka, as Alice mentioned, work pefectly to to reach the film’s target audience. I’m excited to see what The Dark Knight Rises will bring.

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  3. Alice
    June 12, 2012

    Working in the promotional film business, I feel like its still applicable to do film tie-in’s to products/brands. It often lures in consumers that may have some sort of emotional connection to the branding of the film. Off the top of my head, I think the promotions went well for Sex and the City and Skky Vodka. It was branded heavily throughout the movie and was reinforced by good marketing. Another good one was Papa john’s marketing attempts with The Dark Knight. As the summer films surface in the coming weeks, I’m excited to see what sorts of promotions arise.

    Like

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