Brands are clamouring to tap into the success of popular cinema releases.
You do not have to be a marketing visionary to see why brands such as Volvo and Burger King want to piggy-back Summit Entertainment’s multibillion-dollar film series Twilight, the third instalment of which, Eclipse, has just been released.
Yet, it wasn’t always obvious that this tale of vampire passion, based on Stephanie Meyer’s novels, would be the biggest youth movie sensation since Harry Potter. In 2008, when Summit was filming the first Twilight, the modestly budgeted production did not arouse much interest from brands or the showbiz press, despite the popularity of Meyer’s books.
Summit executives, including worldwide marketing president Nancy Kirkpatrick were optimistic, having seen plenty of fan love for lead characters Bella and Edward at bookstores, conventions and online. However, it was only after the $37m film had clocked up $700m in box office and DVD revenues that the media and marketing industries started paying attention.
By the time New Moon, the second of five planned films, was released in November 2009, brands had recognised Twilight’s potential as an exceptional platform for reaching 12- to 24-year-old female consumers, as well as their mothers. Kirkpatrick’s hope was that, if Summit injected enough action into Eclipse, it might become a breakout hit with young men as well.
As with most major movie franchises, there are two main ways for brands to get involved in the Twilight phenomenon – through direct partnerships with Summit or by hooking up with cinema adsales agencies such as DCM, which manages screen advertising inventory for 64% of the UK market.