The 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Promotional Campaign Just Smashed Records
The promotional campaign for "Spider-Man: Far from Home" has smashed previous film promo records, reaching a jaw-dropping total value of $288 million.
That figure accounts for TV spots, publicity stunts, in-person activations and more, including some creative and cutting edge promotional products campaigns, such as augmented reality-integrated Papa John's pizza boxes and Spider-Man themed hospitality kits aboard United Airlines.
"Spider-Man" advertising was also seen on more than 500 million bottles of Dr. Pepper and inside Burger King meal boxes.
"This campaign has drawn big promotional commitments with some of the world's most iconic global brands," Josh Greenstein, president of Worldwide Marketing & Distribution, told Deadline. "The global team led by [executive vice president of brand strategy and global partnerships] Jeffrey Godsick has assembled not only the biggest-ever campaign for Sony Pictures and Marvel, but for any motion picture. This is unprecedented reach with highly creative, event-level promo stunts."
If you think you're seeing Spider-Man everywhere, you are. He's on your pizza box, your snacks, your cereal, if you fly United Airlines, he's in the safety video.https://t.co/ekx3ZtPbKL
— Bob Mondello (@Bob_Mondello) July 9, 2019
Let's put this into perspective for a second. Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame" was touted as the blockbuster event of the year. It was the culmination of a franchise that captured both loyal Marvel audiences and comic book newbies. The entire "Endgame" marketing campaign was about $200 million. This promotional budget eclipsed the last Spider-Man flick, "Spider-Man: Homecoming," a reboot of a franchise that had some trouble finding its legs in the current environment of superhero films, by 106 percent.
Movies are in a weird place right now. Everyone is seeing them, talking about them and spoiling them for others on the internet, but fewer people are turning out to movie theaters overall. This makes the jobs of studio marketing professionals even tougher. And that's why they're pulling out all the stops to try to get you, the casual viewer, into those freezing, overpriced and possibly sticky movie theater seats to soak up their content.
You used to be able to market movies with some billboards, some well-timed TV trailers, and maybe a few Happy Meal toys. Now, you have to literally get Amazon to co-brand a promotion that simulates transferring live, genetically-modified dinosaurs via truck bed. Or, you have to at least create a life-sized Godzilla attacking the city.
That "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" budget, which briefly nosed out the "Avengers" franchise last year, also included brand partnerships with candy companies, a Jurassic Park-themed Jeep Wangler, and cereal boxes with embedded screens to play exclusive content. The Deadpool team even hogged other movies' covers to remind you to see their movie instead!
If you're thinking this all seems excessive, you're probably right. But, movie studios are doing everything they possibly can to combat illegal downloaders, streaming services and other studios who dare to simultaneously release films in theaters and on streaming services.
So, you know, while it's a little over-the-top to have Spider-Man and in-flight safety go hand-in-hand, the more exposure the better.
Come to think of it, I almost never go to the movie theater. As I'm writing this, I realized that of the last maybe four movies I saw in theaters, two were "Jurassic World" and "Spider-Man: Far from Home."
Spider-Man's wide appeal made marketing almost everywhere under the sun a viable option for the marketing folks, too.
"There is an accessibility and cool factor that makes Spider-Man the greatest superhero in the world, and we embraced this by working with promotional partners to not only break records, but more importantly to create breakthrough creative executions," Godsick told Deadline. "Each promotional partnership program delivers at least one publicity or marketing extension that gives fans a more immersive and interactive experience, or something never done before."
There are a few words in that quote that stand out:
That's the future of marketing for things like this, at least the ones with Hulk-sized budgets. (Yes, I know, wrong movie.) This is especially true in a world dominated by smartphone technology. If you aren't looking into augmented reality, it's the time to start. If you haven't explored some possibly unorthodox brand partnerships, it might be the time to think outside of the box. And if you never thought of embedding a screen into a box of Cheerios, that's probably fine but maybe it's something you should consider in the future.
Because Spider-Man, Marvel and Sony just proved that's the way to go. Don't believe it? Check out the $185 million six-day opening record for Sony.