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When a brand is looking for a feature film to partner with, whether for paid brand integration or to co-brand media, they are hoping for a guarantee that the film will be a success. The fact is, in the world of film, there are literally no guarantees. A film that one may predict to be a sure-success – based on a director at the helm, or an A-list cast – can often prove not to be.
This is why brands are so attracted to book-to-film and franchise films: Proven box office numbers exist, and a fan base is already established. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses why franchise films and book spinoffs create great brand partnerships.
Photo Credit: Spigot
Films that are proven entities at the box office are an easier sell-in to top C-Level executives, who favor such films or have children who do.
These franchise films include The Avengers, Harry Potter, The Mummy, Fast & Furious, Terminator, Mission: Impossible, Transformers, X-Men, Twilight, Ice Age, Toy Story, Jurassic Park, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek, and the behemoth of them all…James Bond.
Brands are also attracted to another sort of franchise: The movie adaptation of a book.
With a script created based upon the content of a book, content that has already been proven to garner consumer interest, the partnership is more easily signed off at the executive level. Even more attractive is, if a book has been on the New York Times Best-Seller list, as this means that it has likely already developed a strong national, sometimes even global readership.
In recent years, film distributors have averaged 20 major releases based on books.
The Great Gatsby as an example was a studio and brand triumph. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is a parent’s happy place, as well as a brand’s clean - and environmentally responsible - partnership dream. Twilight is a case study that studios are going to forevermore try to replicate, with The Hunger Games proving to be the only to date reaching similar success.
Tom Clancy’s first four feature adaptations’ box-office grossed a collective $781M worldwide, with the Jack Ryan film franchise now continuing the spin-off into an Amazon TV series. Fifty Shades of Grey became the talk of daytime TV and women’s friendship circles, with over 78 million books purchased around the world. The studio knew that purchase number would translate into box office tickets, and the film became a land of brand opportunity to those catering to luxury with a bit of adult thrown in.
Book adaptations typically do extremely well at the box office and often take home awards during Oscar season, allowing brand executives to pat themselves on the back for a decision well-made aside from box office run success.
However, there is always risk involved. Some movie adaptations have ended as failures or borderline flops, not because of lack of PR or a brilliant storyline, but typically due to over-inflated production budgets.
There are now over 100 former book titles currently in active development, meaning that production companies are gearing up to sign on the cast, polish their scripts and start to shoot. These projects leave plenty of opportunity for brand partnerships with stories that are already known and welcomed with open arms by their targeted consumers.
It's proven - product placement is a more effective technique than you may be aware of! And they're not the only tactic you can incorporate into your entertainment marketing mix. Check out our blog posts on franchise films to learn all you can about marketing some of the biggest movies in the world:
Download the results of our Entertainment Marketing Survey to learn more about the tactics that consumers and other brand marketers think you should be using.
Stacy Jones, Hollywood Branded's founder and CEO, has over twenty six years of leadership experience building global entertainment branding campaigns for top Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of brands. Her career started after receiving her BFA in Theater Production & Scenic Design from the University of Arizona. Acknowledged as an expert in the field, she has appeared on CNN and MSNBC; spoken at conferences around the globe from Germany to Beijing; and has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter, Financial Times, The Economist, Brandweek, Advertising Age, Variety, B&C and Mediaweek amongst others. Originally from Texas, you will still hear her ya’ll as she gathers the team for strategy planning sessions. Like all true entrepreneurs, Stacy is an adventurer at her core – having sky dived, hang glided off bi-planes, swam with crocs while rafting the Zambezi in Africa, photographed grizzly bears in Alaska, trekked Mayan ruins in Belize, explored the ocean as an avid scuba diver, and who loves owning an advertising agency where she swims with a different type of Hollywood shark on a daily basis.