Iron Man 2’s Marketing Tie-In Bonanza


Iron Man 2 opens in America this Thursday at midnight. While we will have the full product placement rundown next Monday at Brandcameo, let’s take a moment to review the film’s larger promotional brand tie-ins. As Ad Age notes, it’s a $100 million “marketing bonanza.”

Brand: Audi
Tie-in: As can be seen in the commercial above, Audi’s R8 is back for the Iron Man sequel as Tony Stark’s sweet ride.
Grade 1-10: 9.2
Judge’s comments: The product placement master has spiffed up its profile for the sequel with the convertible Spyder model and a spectacular microsite.

Brand: Royal Purple
Tie-in: A motor oil brand tie-in might seem obtuse. But with Iron Man 2‘s extended racing scene and Stark Motor Racing sub-plot, this placement makes perfect sense.
Grade 1-10: 7.0
Judge’s comments: Extra credit to the brand for going the distance with a microsite and comic book tie-in.[more]

Brand: 7-Eleven
Tie-in: America’s iconic convenience store offers a heroic selection of Iron Man beverage cups, collector items and a special Invincible Orange Slurpee flavor.
Grade 1-10: 8.0
Judge’s comments: Hey, who doesn’t want a shirtless Mickey Rourke to bring home?

Brand: Land O’Frost
Tie-in: An Iron Man 2-branded contest will put one lucky family of consumers in a Marvel Universe super-fan vacation. Also, online games.
Grade 1-10: 4
Judge’s comments: We have nothing but sympathy for the marketer in charge of tying “speciality meats” and “Iron Man.”

Brand: Reese’s
Tie-in: Peanut Butter Cup-maker shells out for an ambitious Stark Expo Pavilion theme. Perhaps too high-concept for a simple film tie-in?
Grade 1-10: 5
Judge’s comments: Reese’s combines all the deliciousness of peanut butter and chocolate with all the fun of a trade show. One aside: It’s noteworthy that the “Stark Expo” promotion is one that Iron Man 2 itself committed to. The marketers have created a viral site at and given the concept dimension with a mock “Stark Expo ’74” commercial (below).

Brand: Oracle
Tie-in: Oracle gins up a microsite experience that promotes cloud computing by allowing you to become Iron Man himself.
Grade 1-10: 3.5
Judge’s comments: A tech brand might want to think about building a faster-loading promotional microsite for such a high-tech movie.

Brand: Burger King
Tie-in: A spectrum of toys accompany kid’s meals.
Grade 1-10: 4.5
Judge’s comments: Not a ringing endorsement deal when Entertainment Weekly calls your toys sexist.

Brand: Sony Music
Tie-in: AC/DC collector’s box set with posters and comic books.
Grade 1-10: 4
Judge’s comments: Tony Stark says, “Meh,” and wonders if the rumors of AC/DC finally coming to iTunes are true.

Brand: Symantec
Tie-in: The parent of Norton AntiVirus will help consumers “eliminate online evils with Norton 2010.”
Grade 1-10: 5.5
Judge’s comments: It’s not glamorous but hey: even Tony Stark is vulnerable to the Conficker worm.

Brand: LG
Tie-in: As the handset of choice for Tony Stark, LG is leveraging its fairly awesome microsite to get the word out.
Grade 1-10: 7.5
Judge’s comments: The site is Flash-heavy, and we mean heavy, man.

Brand: Dr. Pepper
Tie-in: Dr. Pepper serves up some co-branded contests (LG) and some special-edition Iron Man cans.
Grade 1-10: 6.5
Judge’s comments: While the contest itself is unremarkable, the shelf-presence of the cans is rather heroic.

Brand: Diesel
Tie-in: Iron Man-branded version of the brand’s Only the Brave cologne.
Grade 1-10: Passes the sniff test.
Judge’s comments: Wasn’t Diesel all about incoherent, controversial, hipper-than-thou positioning? Smells like “comic book nerd” spirit.