Comes Armed With Array of Brands
Jean Halliday and Emily York
June 10, 2008
-- Warner Bros. has lined up 10 marketing partners for
the U.S., among 38 others globally, for its remake of
the '60s-era spy spoof "Get Smart," coming to theaters
In the U.S., four partners -- Subway, Best Buy, QVC and
PepsiCo.'s Sierra Mist -- are promoting the film with
"significant advertising" in print and TV, said Gene
Garlock, senior VP at Warner Bros. Pictures, which is
handling global promotions. The other six are using
nonmeasured media, including point-of-purchase and
online through their own websites, to support the movie;
they include Anheuser-Busch, Visa, Hamilton Watch, Vespa
USA and Swiss Army Knife.
Subway, Piaggio's Vespa, QVC and Hamilton are integrated
into the film.
Spies count calories, too
Steve Carell plays the bumbling Maxwell Smart, who wears
a Hamilton wristwatch. At the start of the movie, Smart
dreams of being a field agent, but he's overweight. He
slims down Jared-style in the opening credits, which
show him working an obstacle course and, when finally
slim, opening his fridge to pull out a Subway sandwich.
Smart's sidekick, Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), buys a
makeup kit from QVC's cable-shopping channel in the film
and the two stars make a getaway on a Vespa scooter, Mr.
Subway and Vespa have partnered in a co-branded deal for
"We try to pool our partners together so they can find
ways to share resources," Mr. Garlock said.
Michelle Cordial, director-brand management at Subway,
said "Get Smart" is the first movie the company has
committed to working with in a decade.
Howard Buck, president of Studio Services, which handles
Vespa's placement deals, said the partnership allows the
marketers to spread their costs and risks.
Subway is promoting the movie with signage at its 22,000
U.S. locations through June and offers a collectible,
32-ounce cup. The chain is running ads through June 30.
The "Get Smart Eat Fresh Instant Win Game and
Sweepstakes" started last week on the microsite
subwayfreshbuzz.com and continues through August.
Visitors can pick up clues and access codes at Subway
sites and log onto the site for a chance to win a 1965
Sunbeam Tiger or one of 10 Vespa scooters. Other prizes
include a tour of the Warner Bros. lot, $100 Best Buy
gift cards and PepsiCo's Frito Lay Chips. (PepsiCo's
Sierra Mist brand has a limited-edition "Undercover
Orange" mandarin flavor linked to the movie and Duane
"The Rock" Johnson's character, Agent 23).
Vespa provided the scooters for prizes and supports the
sweepstakes on its home page, vespausa.com, with a
hyperlink to the Get Fresh site. The marketer is also
offering free $5 Subway gift cards on its website to
consumers who test drive one of the scooters. The
brand's online, print and in-store promotions run
through Aug. 10 at all 250 U.S. Vespa dealers.
Paolo Timoni, president-CEO of Piaggio USA, estimated
between 20,000 and 30,000 people will take Vespa test
drives as a result the co-offer with Subway.
Piaggio's main objective is to educate Americans about
the benefits of Vespa, because the scooters are much
more popular in Europe, he said. Piaggio, which creates
in-house ads for its local dealers but does no national
advertising, sold 12,000 Vespas in the U.S. last year.
With rising gas prices, Vespa has seen 2008 sales
through May jump by 40%, he said.
Vespa's website for the movie was created by Matrix. Van
Vandegrift, founder of Matrix, said Subway and Vespa
also sent e-mail blasts to their opt-in customers
promoting the contest.
A good fit
Ms. Cordial said Subway is using the opportunity to
bolster its Fresh Fit menu and its best-selling turkey
sub. Besides a logical and enviable linkage to the main
character's weight loss and high-profile product
placements, Subway gains access to a multigenerational
audience and it what considers to be reasonable chances
at a sequel. Ms. Cordial added that her brand will also
benefit from the heavy media support behind the film.
For the nation's biggest sandwich chain, there's also an
added appeal to a summer comedy that doesn't rely too
heavily on toilet-bowl humor. "There are a lot of
different kinds of comedies out there," Ms. Cordial
said. "This is a smart comedy. We like to think of our
customers as being smart."
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