Paramount's new film benefits from savvy marketing

MUMBAI: Viacom's film studio Paramount Pictures has scored a much needed hit with the Jim Carrey film Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. The company has attributed a large part of the film's success to companies that partnered on a marketing campaign in the US..

The film has grossed nearly $100 million since it opened in the US on 17 December.



Paramount Pictures senior VP worldwide marketing partnerships Lisa DiMarzio said, "Our successful promotional campaign reflected the high level of excitement for this film. The film's storyline gave us the opportunity to pursue groundbreaking partners with clever campaigns, a la AFlac, Sunny D, and Papa John's and reach different segments of our extremely large audience in a fun and unique ways."



Aflac is a global insurance company. A television commercial saw the AFlac Duck starring in an unfortunate TV spot encountering an experience alarming enough to be right out of the movie. The alliance between Paramount Pictures and AFlac marked the first-ever marketing partnership between an insurance carrier and a film studio.

American pizza maker Papa Johns participated in their first-ever promotional programme tied to a major film release. Papa's Fortunate Deal invited customers to purchase a large Papa John's pizza with up to five toppings and a limited edition Lemony Snicket CD-Rom for $13.99.



For the uninitiated the film sees the mysterious Lemony Snicket voiced by Oscar nominee Jude Law recounting the alarming story of the three Baudelaire orphans. The 14-year old Violet played by Emily Browning is one of the greatest inventors the world has ever known. Her brother, Klaus played by Liam Aiken is extraordinarily well read. And their baby sister, Sunny is very good at biting things.

After the children's parents perish in a terrible fire, they are placed in the care of the diabolical actor Count Olaf played by Carrey. Olaf hatches one outrageous plot after another to steal the children's vast fortune. He is determined not to let anybody stand in his way -- not Uncle Monty (Billy Connolly), not Aunt Josephine played by oscar winner Meryl Streep and certainly not the children themselves.

Coming back to the marketing and promotional activity US beverage company Sunny D released a new beverage Lemony Snicket Limeade. The blend of sweet and sour is available in Wal-Mart stores across the US. Additionally, Sunny D launched an online instant win sweepstakes for kids Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Prizes. Kids played to win prizes including a trip for five to any Paramount Park, a set of Lemony Snicket books, video games, board games, magic 8 balls and DVDs.

US food maker Kraft did a tie up with the the film for their luncheables line of products. Kraft featured film tie-ins with several of their products in a multi-million dollar ad campaign on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. In a the capaign A Series of Snicket Snippets, every Lunchables Fun Fuel and Fun Pack box contained a quick chapter from a never-before-seen side story about the Baudelaire orphans that introduced customers to the characters from the film. An Even More Monstrous Story for Mega Kids delivered an entirely different story, focused on Count Olaf and printed on mini-booklets in every Lunchables product.

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