If your brand identity includes “yellow” or “oval” (or if one of your brand personality traits happens to be “speaks gibberish”) then this week may be the biggest branded entertainment tie-in opportunity of the decade. It’s the opening weekend for Minions, the spin-off of the wildly successful Despicable Me franchise. (Update: As expected, Minions became the #1 movie its opening weekend.)
This time, the film focuses on the shrieking, goggled sidekicks from the first two films and they happen to be yellow, oval and nonsensical. And thanks to a $600 million publicity spree, as Ad Age puts it, a multitude for brand partners have found perfect movie product tie-in harmony. Even non-official partners are jumping in anyway because MINIONS.
While Barbasol’s Jurassic World gambit remains the best movie tie-in (so far) of the summer, limited edition Tic Tac Minions packs are a close second.
— MC (@mrmikechristian) May 12, 2015
Introduced more than a month ago, Minions Tic Tacs have not only done a good job promoting the upcoming film but also been a social media engagement windfall for Ferrero’s Tic Tac brand.
Tic Tac’s Minions posts on Facebook have resulted in hundreds of thousands of likes, shares and comments, and they’re all over Instagram. In fact, the tie-in has been so successful it’s creating a bit of a headache for the brand in markets where Minions Tic Tacs have sold out.
Sorry @stampinkaty! They're selling out fast & while we can't track individual store's inventory we can assure you that they do exist.
— Tic Tac USA (@TicTacUSA) July 7, 2015
And the craze for Tic Tac Minions is Instagram-ready by inspiring nail art, and even merited a case study presented to advertising and marketing execs at Cannes Lions.
Maybe the only product more Minions-y is Twinkies. For some time now there have been Minions Twinkies and with the new film’s debut Hostess is making another big push with Minions packaging and point-of-sale in-store promotion.
— Chris Nichols (@ChrisNicholsLA) July 1, 2015
Not to be left out of the party are the bananas.
Iconic banana brand Chiquita has also teamed with Minions. Chiquita bananas currently feature special edition Minions labels and the brand is running online games and (“Banana Shot Arcade“), a contest to send winners to London (where much of the film takes place). Chiquita banana labels can also be scanned with a cellphone and uploaded for prizes.
Chiquita is also a veteran of the Minions brand partners, having partnered for ads with the Minions for 2013’s Despicable Me 2.
Another returning brand is McDonald’s, easily the most yellow of the major fast food chains. McDonald’s had a Minions-focused tie-in with Despicable Me 2.
This time around, McD’s is running a Minion Mania Menu (for both children and adults) with numerous prizes. McDonald’s is also using Minions-branded product packaging. It even has limited edition Minions shaped french fries, and some folks swear that Happy Meal Minions are swearing (McDonald’s swears they aren’t).
How popular are the Minions product tie-ins?
So popular that customers are stealing (and then bragging on social media about stealing) the cardboard Minions promotional materials from McDonald’s stores.
video of Brianna taking the minions cardboard cutout from McDonalds pic.twitter.com/N1a61UgNrY
— john john ♛ (@John_Ridgeway) July 7, 2015
And don’t forget China, where McDonald’s is also promoting its Minions tie-in and where, based on the piles of unlicensed Minions products available for sale, the film is likely to be a monster hit.
In the region, other brands also have Minions tie-ins such as Chinese smartphone maker Vivo.
France’s Carrefour retail chain:
And then there is the Phillipines’ Monde Nissin, which is offering a DIY Minions version of its yellowish Mamon cookies.
These international minions tie-ins are being digitally tweaked for the local markets. For example, General Mills cereals:
General Mills is also offering a Minions brand cereal.
Proving that a brand doesn’t have to be yellow to partner with the Minions is Comcast’s Xfinity. The broadband/voice/tv service if currently promoting its voice remote TV device, leveraging the fact that the Minions characteristically cannot pronounce words (take note, McDonald’s).
Bounty paper towels now come in Minions prints:
Going to Orlando Studios? Pack up your Minions-branded Travelpro luggage and consider staying in the Minions Suite at at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel.
Celebrities love Minions too. Before he was the NBA champion of the world, Stephen Curry appeared alongside the Minions. They also joined celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels for a Biggest Loser Minions promo.
Had enough Minions yet? Because we’re not done.
Pantone even developed a special “Minion Yellow” color.
Finally, many of the above Minions partner partner products are available at Amazon.com. Order one and it may arrive in a Minions-branded Amazon box.
What you won’t see: these (parody) Minions tampons from Kotex Puerto Rico:
And perhaps the only yellow ovoid product to not catch Minions movie fever: