The opening of the next installment in the blockbuster Iron Man franchise may still be a few weeks away (May 7), but the promotions are in full swing. As Advertising Age describes today, the movie has attracted more than $100 million in media buys, retail tie-ins, and giveaways. Of the ten brands listed in the Ad Age article, five promote foods that are are not exactly conducive to Iron Man's heroic image. But who cares about the disconnect, with so many dollars up for grabs. And of course, with so many youngsters likely to see the film, the brand loyalty-building potential is key.
Here, as Ad Age describes them, are the five shameless product placements / co-branding deals:
A returning sponsor from 2008 (and a co-star in a key scene in which Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark requests a cheeseburger that happens to come from the home of the Whopper), Burger King is upping its "Iron Man" marketing machinery this time around with a major company-wide push that kicks off April 26. The fast-feeder will feature an "Iron Man 2"-branded sandwich, the "Whiplash Whopper," and eight film-related toys -- four for boys and four for girls. A bevy of TV ads targeted separately toward adults and kids will roll out as well, in addition to a heavy online presence at ClubBk.com.
Another repeat partner, 7-Eleven, is executing several marketing firsts on Marvel's behalf, including its first movie tie-in TV ad to promote its custom "Iron Man" straws, Big Gulp cups and other merchandise, as well as a Live Like a Billionaire Sweepstakes for slurpee.com. The initiative will be supported with radio and web ads as well as a presence on 7-Eleven's in-store TV network.
Tony Stark sandwiches? Land O'Frost lunchmeats are back with a major two-and-a-half month push that will feature "Iron Man" sweepstakes, TV ads, print placement in major titles such as Family Circle and Ladies Home Journal and an in-store blitz that includes 10 million Land O'Frost packages and point-of-sale materials such as life-size Tony Stark standees.
Dr Pepper has already kicked off a three-month ad and retail campaign that includes 14 collectible cans and a series of TV ads featuring "Iron Man" creator Stan Lee. Mr. Fleming told Ad Age that "Iron Man 2" represents the brand's first big movie partnership since 2008's "Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull." Even the movie's director, Jon Favreau, got with the program, posting pictures of the cans on his Twitter feed.
For its first "Iron Man" campaign, Hershey's is using its Reese's brand to engage fans in the Marvel universe, much as it did with Warner Bros. for 2008's "The Dark Knight." The peanut-butter cup is sponsoring a sweepstakes offering fans a chance to win a walk-on role in an upcoming Marvel movie, and is using "Iron Man 2"-branded packaging in the U.S. and over a dozen global territories. The extensive effort will continue through the end of September.