Moving promotional efforts outside of its stores and rotos and into nontraditional avenues like movie theaters is a strategy Toys `R’ Us plans to pursue more often in the future, says Jeff Cramer, promotions manager for the chain. And it’s a game plan the retailer will put into action starting with the theatrical release of X-Men: The Movie. On July 14, the day the film opens, TRU will begin distributing three million copies of a Marvel-produced X-Men comic to moviegoers who buy a ticket to the X-Men pic. In addition to editorial, the in-theater comic will contain ads for discounts from X-Men licensing and promo partners, including Toy Biz and Activision, which consumers can use at any TRU locations.
‘We could have done another sweepstakes,’ says Cramer, ‘but we wanted to leverage the strength of the X-Men brand, which is the comics. We want people to go the theaters to see the film to get their comic book with the deals from Toys `R’ Us.’ Cramer says the chain plans to promote similar deals through its August roto, in anticipation of an X-Men TV series, which is slated to begin airing in the fall on Kids’ WB!
Additionally, starting June 6, TRU will offer an exclusive X-Men comic to consumers who buy any related licensed movie merchandise from one of its stores. The comic, which Marvel is also producing, will be available on-line as well through toysrus.com in limited quantities.