Universal is pulling a bevy of partners out of its hat to promote the June 30 release of The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle through nostalgia-, animal-, travel- and technology-themed promos.
M&M/Mars is leading the charge with a nostalgic throwback to Frostbite Falls on half a billion candy bars. From May 5 to August 1, in-store ads, floor graphics and shelf talkers will tout a ‘Chill and Win’ sweeps encouraging consumers to freeze their chocolate bars and enter a cash giveaway contest. Wrappers for Milky Way, Snickers, Three Musketeers and Twix will feature frosty bursts.
Marking its entertainment tie-in debut, PetsMart is jumping in with a sweepstakes promotion offering family trips to New York. The program will include prominent Internet support such as a Rocky & Bullwinkle ‘My Hero’ on-line area featuring heroic pet stories and in-store support at 500 retail locations. Tim Rothwell, Universal Studios Consumer Products senior VP of domestic licensing and retail, says the chain is testing the entertainment waters with an eye on possibly hooking up with the studio to produce licensed pet accessories.
Senior VP of promotions Beth Goss says a family travel theme, inspired by the ‘road trip’ Rocky and Bullwinkle take to New York in the film, will encompass tie-ins with Travelodge and Alamo car rentals. Travelodge will plug a contest offering a trip to the movie’s premiere through in-room and in-lobby signage at 750 locations starting late May, and Alamo will feature the heroic duo in its ongoing ‘Drive Happy’ campaign and on bus wraps.
Hewlett Packard, one of the more recent partners to sign on, will lead a technology-themed promotion across all of its brands. HP will get extensive high-tech product placement and will promote the movie starting June 1 via a contest, U.S. national print ads, a Web site, radio ads and possibly TV ads. Account-specific extensions at CompUSA and Best Buy are also planned.
From June 1 to September 1, Weaver Chicken will sport bursts on three million packs of frozen breaded boneless chicken products offering free admission with proof of purchase. Twelve million FSIs, P.O.S. in over 2,000 stores and the weaverchicken.com Web site will support. A self-liquidating offer for a Rocky & Bullwinkle watch is also planned.
Rounding out the promo partners are Bama Jams, which will feature six R&B designs on one million jam tumblers, CVS/pharmacy, which will run in-store promos and a merch program pushing collectible beanbag plush at 4,200 stores, and Reader’s Digest-owned in-school catalog company QSP, which will feature 30 licensed R&B products in over three million school fundraising catalogs.
Goss says the film’s marketing budget is ‘competitive with our other big family projects, like The Flintstones and Babe.’ (Babe: Pig in the City P&A was US$100 million.) She adds that the standard QSR tie-in is absent due to legal constraints set by the Ward estate, which owns the Rocky & Bullwinkle property.