If you’ve ever taken young children to the supermarket, you’re bound to have experienced this. Walking down the chilled aisle and your youngster spots yoghurts with Minions printed on the pack from literally yards away. A barrage of pleading follows and doesn’t stop until those yoghurts have been firmly placed into your trolley. Read our blog on 7 Clever Back To School Promotions

As we know, the Irish are madly in love with cinema. Ireland has the highest number of cinema admissions per capita in the EU and has done since records began in 1995. We also love our Irish brands with Brennan’s Bread, Avonmore and Tayto consistently in the Top 5 Best Selling Brands in Ireland. From a marketing perspective, it makes perfect sense that combining these two great loves would be a marriage made in heaven!

With more film distributors eager to get as many bums on seats at the cinema as they possibly can, there are huge and relatively untapped opportunities for indigenous Irish FMCG brands in particular to partner with specific movie franchises to create really visually impactful campaigns specific to an Irish audience. The benefits of movie partnerships in Ireland in particular can greatly outweigh the costs of implementing a campaign, making it a win win win for the brand, the movie and the consumer.

So how does it work?

  • Generally partnership opportunities become available 6 to 18 months from the movie release date.
  • The deal offered by the film distributor is the license to use character/movie artwork as well as some other incentives such as holidays and goody bags.
  • In return, they’ll expect the partner brand to build a campaign that is unique and attractive to consumers either on-pack or above-the-line or both.
  • It should be a partnership in the truest sense. The film distributor is looking to carefully align with a brand that delivers similar brand values as the movie to a shared audience.

In the UK in October 2015, the popularity of Halloween animated comedy, Hotel Transylvania 2 attracted five high profile brand partners, all vying for a voice. Following the success of Hotel Transylvania, Sony Pictures wanted to build on this platform as well as reaching new audiences. Its key focus was families. It chose to work with five brand partners; Fruitella, Cadbury Biscuits, River Island, Hotels.com and Subway, with each brand incorporating the film’s main characters – Drac, Mavis and Frankenstein – into their campaigns.

Cadbury’s worked the characters into its seasonal promotion for Screme Eggs, while Subway created ‘spooky’ Kids Pak snacks, as well as giving its stores a themed makeover. Collectively, all five brands achieved exposure to over 15 million people through products, footfall, print, digital and social media. Such activity prompted a hefty number of ticket sales.

In Ireland at the same time, Kelkin Popcorn alone partnered with Sony Pictures Ireland  for the movie Hotel Transylvania 2. Halloween is a key selling period for popcorn and what better way to create stand out on shelves than to have Drac and family on-pack and end of aisle. Cue the eagle-eyed child in the trolley and the pleading begins!

So what do you need to know when considering a movie tie-in

  • Look at the movie slates for the various distributors for the next 12-18 months and identify movies that you feel have a natural synergy with your brand. The brand values must match each other and the partnership must be easily understood by the consumer
  • Consider how long your packaging will take to print and allow three months to negotiate the deal, receive creative and get approvals etc.
  • Consider a stand-out idea that will really help you to exploit the partnership to its full potential. It’s not enough just to plaster packs with film characters. Consider adding something collectable to each pack like stickers or magnets to encourage repeat purchase.
  • Prepare yourself for compromise. It is a partnership and while success for your brand is of utmost importance, the same can be said for the distributor. They are very protective of their brand assets and you must allow for global guidelines to be adhered to.

There’ll be no shortage of box office hits over the next year or so, especially in the family category. The fact that the majority of them are sequels such as Sing 2, The Secret Life of Pets 2, Trolls 2, Minions 2, Hotel Transylvania 3, to name but a few, demonstrates the demand that exists for more. Film is a creative business and ideas which are mutually beneficial to the movie and to the brand are generally well received. As a rule of thumb, if there’s good alignment of target audiences and a willingness to work within a partnership, there are many benefits of movie partnerships for brands in the Irish market.