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.
The web of brands already on board for the reboot of Peter Parker's tale is an impressive one, even by high profile comic books-to-movies standards like Thor, Iron Man and Captain America. The Amazing Spider-Man site lists 11 official partners. But there are many more that are unlisted.
Sony, of course, is leveraging its upcoming summer blockbuster to help promote its other brands. Additionally, there's Target and Nintendo and Gameloft. Visa and Kellogg's, OPI and Schick. Not every partner is a consumer product, however.
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and The Amazing Spider-Man are teaming up and asking you to Be Amazing and Stand Up!" Spider-Man is even outsourcing its tie-ins. Snapdeal.com, which is "India’s leading e-commerce company," will offer "an exclusive and licensed range of Spiderman action toys and remote controlled vehicles."
Of course, one of the most fun details of any brand-superhero partnership are the press release puns!
"'The Amazing Spider-Man' Swings into Target"
"Twizzlers Twisted Web and Amazing Prizes"
"HAVE IT YOUR WAY® With a Side of Spiderman!"
Burger King's partnership seems to miss a once in a lifetime opportunity to offer sides of "Spiderham." It's unlikely Burger King will just re-run its ads from its 2007 Spider-Man 3 tie-in:
Meanwhile, here is Brad Haley, chief marketing officer for CKE Restaurants, parent of Carl’s Jr., for the win: “We know that with great burgers comes great responsibility." Bravo. (Though somebody at Sony might want to get Mr. Haley up to speed about not promoting the old Spider-Man franchise while launching a new one.)
Speaking of Carl's, it seems The King not Spider-Man's only burger joint. Carl's Jr. is also partnering with the web slinger for a "Spider-Man Eats Free" Fourth of July. As part of the promotion, "Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee offers on-line advice to guests on how to dress to score a free Amazing Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger."
We have to admit that the Stride-Rite's "Spider-Man lighted shoe" which "will help any mini super hero feel like the real deal by giving them light-up powers" is pretty awesome.
It should go without saying that marketing tie-ins are not product placements. While it's unknown how many of The Amazing Spider-Man's partner (and non-partner) brands will appear onscreen, it's safe to guess more than one, less than 90. An early review of the film suggests it might be closer to the latter.
Letterboxxd's Nigel Floyd notes, "The ubiquitous product placement was disgusting and absurd: Peter Parker, a science-loving nerd, uses Bing as his default search engine?" (So the world's best-known web-slinger likes to not only sling it but Bing it?)
In the 2002 version of Spider-Man we spotted 37 noticeable brands and products. That decreased to 23 for 2004's Spider-Man 2 but then jumped back to 38 in 2007 for the third installment.
The first Spider-Man is best known for its gratuitous Dr. Pepper placement. By the third, web wiseacres had seen enough and began making entire spoof versions of "Product Placement Spider-Man":
While the film is certainly keeping pacing its predecessor when it comes to the number of off-screen marketing partners, will The Amazing Spider-Man tone down the product placement for a new generation? It seems to be in good hands. Credited as a "product placement consultant" for the film is Deb Cole, who served for 20 episodes on the product placement-heavy HBO series Entourage.
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