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Total Recall Viral Campaign Dangles Real Prizes: Branded Fantasy Experiences

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 4, 2012 01:01 PM

If your fantasy is to experience a world in which the Schwarzenegger classic Total Recall was never remade, you're out of luck. But if your fantasy is a little more pedestrian, the new Total Recall viral "Welcome to Rekall" may be of some help, complete with corporate tie-in sponsors for each experience. Continue reading...


The Amazing Spider-Man: Spidey Still Loves New York, But He's No King of Queens

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 3, 2012 12:06 PM

As tentpole movies increasingly become vehicles to move items off store shelves, one "product" that has excelled at leveraging onscreen placements is "geography." And when it comes to comic book titles and their real life cities, probably no hero is better at local marketing than Spider-Man.

No surprise then that, with a brandtastic new Spider-Man reboot hitting cinemas today, Sony and Marvel marketers leveraged Peter "Spider-Man" Parker's real life New York City home as part of its amazing marketing campaign, with one mild-mannered exception.Continue reading...


Brandcameo: Seth MacFarlane's "Ted" Finds a Friend in Bud

Posted by Andrew Chan on July 2, 2012 12:14 PM

Fans of Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy may be disappointed to find out that the characters from his hit animated FOX series don't show up in Ted, MacFarlane's big screen directorial debut and the new #1 movie at the box office. After all, Ted the foul-mouthed bear busts into their animated game in a bit of cross-marketing synergy.

But there's plenty of promotional love to go around. Some brands are generic, such as the grocery store where Ted tries his paw at a real job; some are inferred, such as the Teddy Ruxpin talking teddy bear that inspired the title character (and was childhood best friend of John Bennett, the social misfit played by Mark Wahlberg), or the Boston car rental agency that employs Wahlberg and his co-worker played by Patrick Warburton is inspired by Enterprise.

The biggest overt product placement, however, is for beer — copious amounts of beer, with Bud Light and Budweiser bottles littering the screen of our dissolute hero and his raunchy plush pal (until Mila Kunis enters the picture). Front Row Marketing Services estimates the value of the product placement on-screen time for Budweiser at $778,325 and Bud Light at $229,670 for Ted's opening weekend.

The movie's Facebook page also puts Bud in a Teddy Bear's Picnic scene, below:

In one cross-promotional deal that straddles in-film product placement and offline marketing, Universal Pictures teamed with Axe for a campaign. In one commercial, Ted takes a date to a fancy restaurant and, er, gets busy under the table. (Watch the NSFW campaign here.)

Another star of the movie is its setting, Boston, where MacFarlane and Wahlberg both grew up. The Ted filmmakers received $9 million in state funds to shoot the film locally, from local landmarks such as Fenway Park to spots that locals only might recognize, as the Boston Globe notes:

The climax at Fenway was just one of the many sequences filmed in key Boston locations. Norah Jones’ concert takes place at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River, home of the Boston Pops’ July 4th extravaganzas; John and Ted get high and run into Donny for the first time at the beautifully manicured Boston Public Garden, home of the famous swan boats; and John tells Ted that Ted has to move out while standing amidst the great tanks in the New England Aquarium.

Ted cajoles Lori to meet John at Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe, also in the Back Bay, just down Columbus Avenue from the site where the Union United Methodist Church, a cornerstone of Boston’s African-American community, also plays a key role. John takes Lori to Sorellina restaurant for their anniversary dinner, and their disastrous double date with Ted and Tami-Lynn blows up at the Gaslight Brasserie. As well, John and Ted wait in a line of costumed fans at the Somerville Theatre for the opening night of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace.

The Globe notes the cameos by the Boston Red Sox and the Stanley Cup (while doubting that anyone would rush to visit Boston after seeing Ted):

“Ted” accounted for roughly a quarter of the $37.9 million in film credits issued in 2011. A Department of Revenue study last year showed that, as an economic development program, the credits have been a dud, costing $142,000 for every Massachusetts job created. But there’s also a fuzzier argument: Boosters assert, almost as an article of faith, that simply showcasing the Commonwealth in movies like “Grown Ups,” “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” and “Grown Ups 2” has got to be worth something.

"One of the filmmakers’ goals was to find an iconic location to shoot the final moments of the film’s climactic chase sequence through Boston. To their excitement, the Boston Red Sox organization agreed to allow them to film in Fenway Park, the venerable baseball stadium that opened in 1912. However, the giant lighting tower that Ted and Donny climb was reproduced on a stage. During one of the nights lensing at Fenway, the production was graced with the presence of the Stanley Cup, the ice hockey trophy then recently won by the Boston Bruins."

Besides a cameo by Norah Jones, there's an appearance by a childhood hero — Sam J. Jones, the actor who played Flash Gordon — at a party:

Other pop culture references and brands sprinkled throughout the film include "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (whose show Ted appeared on after he became a star); SpongeBob SquarePants; a Tintin comic book; Rolling Stone magazine; Cabbage Patch Kids; and clips from "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and "Bridget Jones's Diary."

For more on product placement in #1 movies, visit the Brandcameo product placement database.

media brands

Murdoch on News Corp. Split: Not About Chopping "Crushed Wood" Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 28, 2012 11:11 AM

Now that news of the News Corp. is officially moving ahead with splitting its vast global media empire, founder and chairman Rupert Murdoch warned analysts and reporters on a conference call this morning that the plan to divide into two companies “is not a fait accompli. There are a lot of steps to take.”

He also said the impetus, hailed by the markets as a smart business move that will unshackle its challenged newspapers from its more profitable entertainment brands, is  “not a reaction to anything in Britain” such as ongoing investigations into his newspapers’ phone hacking and bribery scandals. COO Chase Carey, who will become CEO of the newspaper and publishing assets that Murdoch has built from his days as a scrappy Australian news magnate, added there were “no changes” in the corporate plan to buy the rest of BSkyB it doesn't currently control.

Murdoch, with his inimitable Aussie turn of phrase, discredited rumors that the publishing unit was the weak ‘orphan’ and emphasized the pending split is not a lack of faith in that business.Continue reading...

media brands

News Corp. Board Approves Company Split [UPDATED]

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 27, 2012 09:13 PM

Following a board meeting this evening in New York, the board of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has approved splitting the company into two publicly traded entities: publishing and entertainment. The Wall Street Journal broke the news, just as it earlier reported that its parent company was contemplating such a move.

According to WSJ the company split would take about a year to approve, dividing assets such as its lucrative FOX broadcast network and TV stations, cable TV channels and 20th Century Fox studio into one company (likely led by Chase Carey, News Corp. deputy chairman, president and COO) and its newspapers, HarperCollins book publishing unit and other publishing assets into another.Continue reading...


Spider-Brands: With Great Franchise, Comes Great Product Placement Potential

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 27, 2012 12:16 PM

A re-imagined Spider-Man will open shortly — July 3rd, to be precise — and it has a lot of expectations to live up to… product placement expectations that is.

In the three Spider-Man films of the last decade, brandchannel spotted 98 identifiable brands or products. When it comes to heroic product placement, will the new The Amazing Spider-Man live up to the old? It appears off to a good start.Continue reading...

media meltdown

News Corp. Confirms It's Considering Dividing Its Assets

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 26, 2012 04:31 PM

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has confirmed a report in its own newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, that it's considering dividing itself into two companies, separating its publishing division in order to focus on its much larger and more profitable entertainment arm. 

"News Corporation confirmed today that it is considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies," was the comment in its one-sentence statement.

Top editors and publishers from the company’s newspapers gathered in New York (according to the New York Times) to discuss the proposal along with Murdoch, his son James Murdoch, Chase Carey, COO, and Joel I. Klein, CEO of News Corporation’s education division and a trusted adviser.Continue reading...


How Chrysler is Diluting 'Imported from Detroit' With Dark Knight Tie-In

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 25, 2012 07:07 PM

For a series of Batman movies that takes itself so seriously, it's a surprise to see it right there so prominent as one of only five menu items on the official The Dark Knight Rises website: "Imported From Gotham City."

The Dark Knight Rises has a number of other official partners. There is Nokia (remember them?) and No Fear (remember them?) and Mountain Dew, which features at the core of its tie-in "Sad Batman." But none of these brands even get a mention on the film's official website, let alone being featured on the site navigation.

It seems that the heavyweight "Imported from Detroit" campaign, which debuted with Eminem at the 2011 Super Bowl and was reborn with Clint Eastwood at the 2012 Super Bowl, is now so ingrained in the American psyche that it's worth lampooning. But the first rule of auto product placement is "be serious." Be so, so serious.Continue reading...

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