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SPFE cuts into kid market with Max Steel campaign

Sony Pictures Family Entertainment is taking off the gloves for a multi-million-dollar, multilevel campaign pushing this month's launch of high-tech 3-D CGI series Max Steel. The three-pronged assault will attempt to build grassroots buzz with a teaser Web site, and then...
February 1, 2000

Sony Pictures Family Entertainment is taking off the gloves for a multi-million-dollar, multilevel campaign pushing this month’s launch of high-tech 3-D CGI series Max Steel. The three-pronged assault will attempt to build grassroots buzz with a teaser Web site, and then hit kids over the head with about 12 spots on Kids’ WB! and a massive retail campaign tying in all major toy retail chains in the U.S.

SPFE’s VP of marketing David Palmer says the campaign will focus on the distinctive, highly rendered 3-D CGI look of the series, as well as highlighting Max Steel’s nonstop action and extreme sports attitude.

Master toy Mattel will head up the retail campaign, which launches in spring with in-store promos hitting Target, KB Toys, Wal-Mart, Kmart and Toys `R’ Us. Toys launched last month.

The Target promo includes a Max Steel figure packaged with a free video of the first TV episode (SRP US$16), while at KB Toys, an exclusive Max Steel comic is available with the purchase of any Max Steel figure or vehicle (SRP from US$9 to US$10). The promo marks the North American debut of the 16-page comic book, produced by DIC Comics-owned Wildstorm Comics. Available merch includes a Max Steel Jet, retailing for between US$29.99 and US$31.99, with more figures and vehicles to follow.

The on-air campaign will run through the third week of March and feature a pool of 10-, 20- and 30-second spots building on a 10-second teaser that aired last month. Dave Doré, co-VP of Kids’ WB! marketing, says the spots will center on teenage lead Max and his nanotechnology-fueled super-human abilities.

Web site www.maxsteeltv.com launched last month with an eye on building underground buzz and will be updated weekly. All three initiatives are geared to boys ages six to 11, the series’ target demo.

Additional licensees include Farmingdale, New York-based Rand for sporting goods, Gem for master apparel, Thermos for hard and soft lunch kits, Buster Brown for children’s footwear and Disguise for Halloween costumes. Julie Boylan, VP of sales and retail for Sony Pictures Consumer Products, says the licensing push will expand beyond core products this fall.

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