Description: An updated version of the old ‘scary monster movie’ that features a larger-than-life, computer-animated Godzilla who terrorizes residents of New York City. Released across North America on May 20 by TriStar Pictures, the summer blockbuster targets young, action-adventure buffs, as well as adults who remember the Japanese Godzilla cult films from the 1970s.
Licensor: Sony Signatures
Licensees: There are currently 75 North American licensees and 220 worldwide. Expect to see over 3,000 items bearing the new Godzilla image and logo this summer. Many of the products, including apparel, books, posters, calendars, watches, toys and computer games, are targeting young boys, but there will also be items for grown-up Godzilla fans. A line of classic Godzilla products-T-shirts, comics, caps and videos-are also on the market. Trendmasters is the master toy licensee. Other licensees include Scholastic Books, Hershey and Kodak, which is using the character to promote its one-shot camera.
Promotional Partners: Taco Bell will run a Godzilla campaign that will include premium toys. The chain was chosen because it services a wider demographic than other fast-food restaurants. Additional promotional partners will be announced throughout the summer.
Media Support: Television, print and on-line are being used to promote the film as well as the licensed goods. Early print promotion included movie posters and billboards that featured the tagline, ‘Size does matter,’ as well as descriptions of how big the monster’s body parts, like his tail, are. Television and movie trailers also hinted at the size of the monster without revealing what it actually looked like. The Web site, www.godzilla.com, has a fan network, movie information, a chat room and a store that sells the new and classic Godzilla items.
Retail: All major department chains, including Toys `R’ Us, Kmart, Wal-Mart and Target stores are carrying Godzilla brand products. The rollout did not begin until after the movie’s release because Sony Signatures wanted audiences to see the new image of Godzilla before they saw the supporting products.
The Final Word: Godzilla has a 98 percent awareness rate worldwide, so the success of licensing the monster, according to Peter Dang, executive vice president of licensing for Sony Signatures, lies in approaching the product as a franchise. There are plans for another Godzilla movie, as well as an animated series on Fox Kids this fall, which encourages an ongoing relationship with licensees.
‘Our licensees know that we are looking at the property for the long term, which makes it more appealing to become involved with,’ he says. ‘Both adults and children are interested in this character, which also gives us more options when it comes to creating products using the Godzilla property. That’s what will keep it going in the long run.’