With the June 14 theatrical debut of its live-action/CGI Scooby-Doo revamp sitting smack-dab in the middle of a busy summer season of family pics (after Star Wars: Episode II–Attack of the Clones and Spider-Man, but before Men in Black 2, Stuart Little 2 and Lilo & Stitch), Warner Bros. is hoping to carve out some pre-launch audience connection next month with a major promo campaign that’s been 15 months in the making.
Although the film’s wide demographic appeal should bode well for its box-office take, that same element mounted a bit of a challenge for the WB marketing team, according to Erin Corbett, VP of national promotions and domestic marketing at Warner Bros. Pictures. ‘When we were choosing our promotional partners, we really wanted to target three tiers–parents who grew up with Scooby, tweens and teens, and kids and families,’ she says. ‘We think the partner lineup we’ve put together will run the gamut of hitting those three groups.’
Particularly well-positioned to meet this goal is Dairy Queen, which is running a six-week promo in more than 5,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada starting on May 27. Featured in the initiative will be a special Scooby-Doo Mystery Crunch Blizzard flavor for teens, a Pick-Nik kids meal program offering six character-based premiums, and a Scooby-branded Father’s Day ice cream cake for the adult crowd. Dairy Queen will support the whole shebang with four weeks of TV advertising from ad agency Grey running across U.S. network and syndication outlets.
Also stepping up to the multi-target plate is Minute Maid, whose tween-skewing Minute Maid Coolers brand of portable juices in aluminum pouches will run an instant-win sweepstakes. Up for grabs is a grand prize trip for four to the Warner Bros. Movie World theme park in Australia, with soundtracks, CD players, movie cash and posters rounding out the prize bag. Minute Maid Cooler packages will also sport a code that consumers can use to download a Scooby soundtrack song from Minute Maid’s tween community hub www.howdoyouhang.com, which will house Scooby games and trailers as well. For younger kids and moms, Minute Maid Blends will host a self-liquidating offer for a Scooby bobblehead doll with two proofs of purchase and US$2.
Sister brand Coke will tie into the movie with three instant-win sweeps running throughout May at State-side gas station chains. A trip for four to anywhere in the U.S. is featured on cans, bottles and fountain cups at Chevron, while BP gas stations will offer the chance to win movie premiere tickets on bottles, cans and special 44-ounce Scooby cups. Rounding out the promo trio, Coke cans at Aquiva’s Shell and Texaco stations are giving away rides on the Scooby Ghost Coaster at Six Flags amusement parks.
Other partner brands that were nailing down the details of their involvement at press time include Heinz EZ Squirt, Oscar Mayer Lunchables and Bayer vitamins.
Cartoon Network has been keeping the Scooby property on a steady simmer, airing the original cartoon regularly since 1998. SFX Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products have also helped stoke the fires for the film’s release with a live stage show that started touring in the U.S. last October. Extending the excitement around the property beyond the film, Kids’ WB! and Cartoon Network are working on an updated Scooby-Doo cartoon series that will debut this fall.