Last year Warner Bros. execs said they wanted to claim Halloween for Scooby-Doo, and this year’s high profile promotional partners suggest they may have succeeded.
M&M/Mars, Pepsi-Cola/Frito-Lay and Burger King are joining the fray for Halloween 2000, pushing the exposure value of the October blow-out beyond last year’s eye-popping US$65 million mark. As before, Warner’s contribution centers around a new Scooby DTV release, this year titled Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, along with a month of Scooby-themed programming on Cartoon Network. Partners are chipping in with retail displays, on-pack offers and ad support driving consumers to the video release and on-air programming.
Burger King will anchor the promo with a month-long Kids Meal program kicking off October 1. Eight premiums will be on offer, some based on the classic Scooby character and some inspired by the video release. In-store and national TV advertising will include Cartoon Network tune-in messages and support for the video. A special Scooby-themed menu item, a video rebate offer and sponsorship of a new CartoonNetwork.com Scooby Web area will likely round out BK’s contribution.
Pepsi-Cola/Frito-Lay is making a rare appearance on the kid promo circuit with joint retail displays featuring Pepsi, Pepsi One, Diet Pepsi, Orange Slice, Mountain Dew and Mug Roor Beer along with Frito’s lead Doritos and Lays brands. More than 60 million packages of Pepsi beverages will sport stickers offering consumers a US$3 rebate on Alien Invaders and a Scooby premium with proof of purchase. Pepsi multipacks will feature a ‘buy three DVDs, get one free’ promo and a US$50 rebate on Toshiba DVD players, highlighting the fact that the annual Scooby title will be available on DVD for the first time this year. Pepsi/Frito-Lay will likely sponsor CartoonNetwork.com’s Scooby-themed area as well.
M&M/Mars, while not directly tying in to the video, will help raise awareness by featuring Scooby and the Cartoon Network logo on about 50 million bags of Fun Size Halloween candy bars. Each mini bar will feature a Scooby riddle, and there will be an in-pack coupon book offering consumers the chance to win US$5, US$10 or US$100 cash in each bag. Giant P.O.S. displays at over 100,000 stores will support the ‘Find Scooby and Win Cash’ promo.
For its part, Cartoon Network’s October plans include a gaggle of promos, a weekend of Scooby movies, several weeks of marathons featuring the classic series and movie nights featuring DTVs from years past, probably sponsored by Burger King. A special feature along the lines of last year’s Blair Witch spoof The Scooby-Doo Project is also in development to help contemporize the franchise.
‘The reason we’ve been able to have so much success with Scooby-Doo for Halloween is that we are able to bring so many assets from across Time Warner to a promotional partner,’ says Cartoon Network VP of promotions, sales and marketing Phyllis Ehrlich. ‘One of our strategies has been to position Scooby as almost a Halloween mascot, so we can own that timing. And fortunately for us, there’s not a lot of great competition out there for that time of the year.’