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Your Summer Movie Blockbuster Brand Tie-In Extravaganza Cheatsheet

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 6, 2012 06:05 PM

In just a couple weeks, after the Hunger Games hype has died down, Hollywood's Hunger Games will begin. That's right, it's blockbuster season already, kids! Sequels, superheroes, sequels about superheroes — it's all coming to a popcornplex near your. But, as with each subsequent summer movie season, the movies with something really on the line are the tie-in brands.

Brandchannel's early scorecard look at which tie-in has the odds in its favor:

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Partners listed on official website: Zero

Oddball partner: Lego

Standout partner: Nokia

Comments: Lego is the next generation of the "crossover" comic. Sure, it has a huge DC Comics world-based Batman tie-in. But that doesn't stop it from a Marvel world-based Avengers tie-in. Someday, we'll all just be living in Lego houses, desperate for another window block.

Speaking of blocks, Nokia's hoping its Limited Edition Dark Knight Rises ‪Lumia 800‬ smart phone makes Nokia the Batman to iPhone's Superman. Pre-orders of the Lumina 800 are even entered to win an exclusive Dark Knight Rises phone and private screening.

THE AVENGERS
Partners listed on official website: 11

Oddball partner:

Standout partner:

Comments: While lunch meat brand Land O'Frost is a strong contender, the clear winner here is Colanotte: "Colantotte offers magnetic health gear that uses magnets in a unique alternating north-south polarity arrangement. Experience their powerful effect. Colantotte products are certified as medical devices in Japan."

Also, kudos to Target for a nice job with this tie-in spot:

But hey, Target, what about "the girl?" Also, don't forget to send royalties to George Lucas and VW.

Acura, which is extending its Marvel partnership after Thor and Captain America, is hoping it will get the boost Audi enjoyed after that brand's R8 became glued to "Tony Stark," otherwise known as Iron Man through that franchise's first two films. Stark, who also stars in The Avengers, will now ride in an Acura drop-top, not unlike the Audi R8. Except, unlike the Audi, the hot Acura is, according to an automaker spokesman, "a one-off, fictional car that was made just for the movie and will not be produced."

Bzzzrrrrrrt! As Audi itself leaned with I, Robot — and Lexus learned with its "one-off, fictional car that was made just for" Minority Report — consumers don't give credit for "someday."

That's why the most impressive, take-action-now hero partner of The Avengers is Harley-Davidson. Wisely passing up Marvel's latest Ghost Rider installment, Harley extended its Captain America tie-in from last year with a kinetic get-it-now push for bikes.

MEN IN BLACK 3

Partners listed on official website: Zero

Oddball partner: The Andy Warhol estate

Standout partner: Mad Men

Comments: Yeah, yeah, Mad Men is not an official partner of Men In Black 3. But the film takes place in the 1960s, a decade that the show about advertising execs has made hot, hot, hot. As we noted back when X-Men: First Class came out, the 1960s are the hottest theme for sequels.

THE DICTATOR

Partners Listed on Official Website: Death to Capitalist Infidels!

Oddball Partner: Death to Capitalist Infidels!

Standout partner: Death to Capitalist Infidels!

Comments: The humor polar opposite to Adam Sandler brand-friendly comedies, the latest twisted character from Sacha Baron Cohen is sure to ruffle feathers, just as it did on the red carpet at the Oscars. But unlike Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which Kazakhstan surprisingly found insulting, The Dictator is all about the "Republic of Wadiya." It's a fictional place but with an outstanding, Wikipedia-ready website about the Republic of Wadiya, including a tempting and hilarious "Invest in Wadiya" page.

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING

Partners Listed on Official Website: It's all about What to Expect mommy-to-be juggernaut brand

Oddball Partner: Book Author Heidi Murkoff

Standout partner: Itself

Comments: This is a summer action movie in the sense that you will take action and try to avoid it. Google "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and the first results you'll find are pages dedicated to the book upon which this movie is based, which, based on the horrible trailer is the best thing this film has going for the brand. Well, that and a Sam's Club tie-in.

GI JOE: RETALIATION

Partners Listed on Official Website: Zero (currently)

Oddball Partner: Your id

Standout partner: Channing Tatum

Comments: After two decades, it seemed as if Star Wars had definitively answered that eternal 1980s question: Which toys are more awesome? Now, GI Joe is back with a vengeance (retaliation?) that aims to even the score (or at least put the franchise on the map). And while the film doesn't yet seem to have a "standout" brand partner, we're counting on star The Rock's deep affection for UnderArmor (and selling things) to shine through. For sure, gun nuts are excited about the Glocks and Scars.

Shocking aside: If GI Joe 2 wins its weekend, it will put Channing Tatum in a 3rd box office #1 hit of the year.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER

Partners Listed on Official Website:  N/A

Oddball Partner: N/A

Standout partner: N/A

Comments: When your film opens in a couple months you might want to get an official website. Or is your marketing plan era-authentic?

BRAVE

Partners Listed on Official Website: Zero (Unless you count producer Disney)

Oddball Partner: Atlanta Braves

Standout partner: Scottish tourism

Comments: Remember in 2006 when some on Wall Street speculated that maybe $7.4 billion was too high a price for Disney to pay for Pixar? Ha! What a bunch of maroons.

Anyway, as with any Pixar film, Brave is going to make a bazillion dollars from the kiddy market. One brand is unhappy with the film, however: the Major League Baseball team Atlanta Braves, which found itself embroiled in a legal jig with Disney when the studio attempted to trademark "Brave."

The brand that hopes to take advantage of Brave's inevitable popularity is Scotland. With visitors to the highland nation down, VisitScotland is crafting a promotional campaign based on Pixar's latest adventure.

MADAGASCAR 3
Partners Listed on Official Website: 14

Oddball Partner: L'Oreal Kids (?!?!)

Standout partner: McDonald's

Comments: Madagascar 3 features some ambitious tie-ins, including Kraft, Claritin, Blue Bunny. Intel, Air Heads, and Jell-O, amongst others. But, c'mon, Madagascar 3 is not about ambition, it's about cashing in on a franchise. And what partner brand is going to cash in on this franchise better than McDonald's?

BATTLESHIP
Partners Listed on Official Website: Zero

Oddball Partner: Wheat Thins

Standout partner: Battleship

Comments: Coca-Cola and Subway may be the anchor brand tie-ins for the film, but we all know that the most important partner in the film's $50 million brand partner promotional line up is Wheat Thins, right? Right?

Milton Bradley certainly hopes that some attention will go to the board game on which the film is based. Except, it seems this elopes are being torpedoed by the very same film's producers. In an attempt to make the film seem more exciting that the iconic, half-century-old board game, Battleship director Peter Berg recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the film " certainly doesn’t have any direct correlation to the game." Hey Milton Bradley, Peter Berg just sank your Battleship!

TOTAL RECALL

Partners Listed on Official Website: Zero

Oddball Partner: Itself

Standout partner: N/A

Comments: Who knows if the remake of the 22 year old Schwarzenegger classic will have the kind of product placement the original boasted, such as that for Hilton to Fuji Film to Pepsi to Jack in the Box to the now-iconic "Mars Today" spoof. But the marketing of the film is promoting the "Rekall" company as a real thing. At WelcomeToRekall, users can enter their phone numbers and a Rekall representative "will call you when your vacation package is available."

THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN

Partners Listed on Official Website: Zero

Oddball Partner: Stan Lee

Standout partner: Kellogg's

Comments: So far, it appears Kellogg's is the only conventional brand to get its spidey sense tingling. The brand has made exclusive clips available through cereal packaging. Just point your smart phone camera at the box, and the clip is revealed. Of course, within a day of release, people had already uploaded the exclusive clips to YouTube, making the purchase of the cereal pointless (unless you like the cereal). Ever are the pitfalls of being a tentpole brand partner.

After appearing in cameos in Marvel films for years, Spider Man creator Stan Lee will finally get to see some action. Lee recently revealed that the new Activision video game version of Spider Man will allow gamers to play as Lee. Stan Lee's super power weakness? Spicey food and icey sidewalks.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

Partners Listed on Official Website: Zero

Oddball Partner: America

Standout partner: Chevrolet Camaro

Comments: That Chevy allowed its new Camaro model to be so prominent in this insane film may be genius or disaster, but it's certainly all muscle and balls.

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