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Rudolph guides the sleigh into Wendy’s

It looks like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be guiding moviegoers to Wendy's restaurants this fall. In conjunction with the North American release of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie, GoodTimes Entertainment has partnered with the fast-food chain for a Christmas...
July 1, 1998

It looks like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be guiding moviegoers to Wendy’s restaurants this fall. In conjunction with the North American release of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie, GoodTimes Entertainment has partnered with the fast-food chain for a Christmas meal deal. According to Seth Willenson, executive producer at GoodTimes Entertainment, it’s the first time an independent film company has partnered with a restaurant for the promotion of a movie.

The five-week promotion launches on November 30, two weeks after the movie’s release date. The company is expecting 20 million Rudolph meal trays to be served along with toy premiums that include novelty drinking straws and figurines. Five of the toys are designed for children over age three and one is suitable for toddlers.

‘Developing promotional campaigns with fast-food restaurants is very competitive,’ says Willenson. ‘This promotion is attractive to Wendy’s because Rudolph is such a classic character and it also appeals to the kind of family audience that the restaurant attracts.’

GoodTimes is also planning to follow the movie’s launch with a Christmas video release.

‘We’re working with Wendy’s to offer a rebate for the video with the meal or perhaps a food rebate with the movie, but that’s still being ironed out,’ says Willenson. ‘The video release will also extend the life of the updated character, which also makes the campaign attractive to Wendy’s.’

The 90-minute animated feature is an updated version of the holiday classic. Whoopi Goldberg, John Goodman, Eric Idle and Debbie Reynolds provide the voices of familiar characters, as well as new additions like Leonard the Polar Bear and Slylie the Fox. But despite these changes, the core of the movie remains the same, says Willenson.

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