And a slew of big-name brands are backing the May 4 release of Spider-Man 3 with a combined marketing investment of more than $100 million.
The studio has pulled in powerhouse consumer package goods companies like Kraft and General Mills, as well as 7-Eleven, Burger King and Comcast.
“Even though this film is third in the series, our strategy behind it was to figure out how to do things differently,” says George Leon, executive vice president, worldwide consumer marketing, Columbia TriStar Marketing Group.
What's the difference? A heavy focus at retail.
Kraft Foods, for example, is promoting Spider-Man 3 across nine brands with games and special offers.
The company's Nabisco Foods unit is out with an instant-win game offering 10 trips for four to Los Angeles, tours of Sony Studios and Activision Games and $1,000 in spending money.
The promotion at www.kraftfoods.com runs through Aug. 31. Movie-themed packaging on Kraft's Ritz Bits, Mini Nilla Wafers and Chips Ahoy products and in-store P-O-P support it.
“Kraft seeks to make its brands relevant to consumers and their interests, and we think they will be excited about our association with Spider-Man 3,” says Donna McCabe, director consumer promotions alliances and initiatives, Kraft Foods.
Not only that, packages of Velveeta and Kraft Singles carry offers for a Spider-Man 3 beach towel with proofs of purchase. And Capri Sun beverages is featuring free action cards with a collector's capsule case, while Kraft Handi-Snacks and Ritz Bits Sandwiches have in-pack themed lenticular cards.
“We'd like to provide consumers with cutting-edge offers and a fun and engaging experience, which reflect the quality Kraft brands involve,” says Shelley Labuda, Kraft's senior manager consumer promotions.
What's more, General Mills adds its marketing muscle to more than 100 million packages across 20 brands, including Cheerios, Pillsbury, Pop Secret and Fruit Roll-Ups. It's one of the company's largest movie tie-ins and the first with Spidey studio Columbia Pictures.
Procter & Gamble's Pringles has movie-themed packaging and Spider-Man 3 Pringles Prints, which features trivia from all three movies printed on the chips. A mail-in promo offers a free movie ticket with the purchase of $10 in products.
Packaged foods aside
Burger King has kicked off a five-week promotion targeting kids and adults. A scratch-and-win game offers the chance to win a $1 million American Express gift card or other prizes, including a 2007 Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT, a Sony electronics prize pack, a BK Double Stacker or six-piece Chicken Fries. The games appear on French fries and extra value meal packaging, as well as some drinks.
For younger fans, a Kids Meal promotion offers 10 Spider-Man premiums featuring new foes and the superhero's black costume. In-store P-O-P and TV spots support the effort. “With this campaign, we are speaking to every single demographic out there,” Leon says. “That's what has been great about Spider-Man”.