News in Brief

Spirit gallops to achieve top-of-mind status with family filmgoers
March 1, 2002

Spirit gallops to achieve top-of-mind status with family filmgoers

With a promo campaign running in over 25,000 U.S. retail locations in Q2, DreamWorks Consumer Products is spurring box-office interest in its May 24 summer pic Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. The program is frontlined by a nine-week Baskin & Robbins tie-in that will be featured in 2,400 locations starting at the end of April. The ice cream chain will introduce two new Spirit-themed flavors, a Cimarron sundae and two color-changing Swirlin’ Shakes.

Also on the vittles front, Burger King will get into the game with a four-week kids meal program featuring four collectible premiums at more than 8,000 restaurants.

Other partners that were fleshing out their promo plans at press time include Hewlett Packard, M&M’s and Ralphs.

Pioneer pushes Cardcaptors vid in a two-chain Kids Meal deal

Pioneer Entertainment has hooked up with fast-food partners Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s for a kids meal program touting the video/DVD release of Cardcaptors: The Movie. Between April 10 and May 14, kids meal bags at more than 4,000 U.S. locations of both chains will contain one of four Cardcaptors toys. An in-restaurant contest will also offer kids the chance to win goodies like a big-screen TV and DVD/CD players.

Based on the Kids’ WB! TV series watched by more than a million kids each week, Cardcaptors: The Movie is launching on VHS and DVD on March 26. The Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s promo marks the first time that Pioneer has used a QSR deal to get the word out about a vid launch.

Tiger and McD’s aim to build a kid BattleBot fanbase

Tiger Electronics is kicking off its efforts to skew BattleBots down to kids via a QSR promo with McDonald’s that is set to run in 15,000 North American restaurants from April 26 to May 16. Happy Meals will feature a series of eight pull-back or wind-up BattleBots premiums, including one that’s fittingly modeled after a Big Mac. McDonald’s will support with branded bags, POP materials, in-restaurant merch displays and TV ads on Nick and Cartoon Network.

BattleBots the TV series targets teens and adults when it airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central. However, given the toyetic and competition-driven nature of the show, Tiger feels that the property could catch on like wildfire with kids.

A toy car caravan drives Matchbox’s 50th anniversary plans

Shifting into party gear for the 50th birthday of its namesake toy car brand, Mattel’s Matchbox unit has an eight-month promo effort in the works. The kid-targeted portion of the initiative revs up on April 5, with the start of a three-week McDonald’s Happy Meal deal featuring six collectible vehicles that sport license plates from North Carolina, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Washington and New York. (The Canadian version of the promo will feature six rescue vehicles instead.)

The QSR deal will also help push a 25-city tour of Toys ‘R’ Us and Kmart parking lots, offering activities like Matchbox Rescue Team obstacle courses and product demos. Beginning on April 6, the tour will culminate in New York at the end of August with a two-day bidding/swapping extravaganza called the International Matchbox Toy Show.

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