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Universal announces King Kong size promotional partnerships

MUMBAI: An 800 pound gorilla King Kong is all set to invade movie theatres across the world in December. Universal Studios has made agreements with a select group of brand partners to promote the film. They are Kellogg's, Toshiba, Chase, the City of New York, Nestle and Burger King.

 

Expectations are high because the film has been made by Peter Jackson who was responsible for The Lord Of The Rings. The deal represents the first full-scale implementation of the studio's new partnerships strategy under the year-old Universal Studios Partnerships (USP) division. USP was formed in June 2004 by combining Universal's theatrical and home entertainment promotions and corporate partnership groups into a single unit. In India the film will be released in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

Universal Studios Partnerships executive VP Stephanie Sperber says, "We have listened carefully to what our partners have told us, and we have responded by creating innovative alliances that we believe will be extremely effective both for our partners and for our entertainment properties. For instance, one of the things we heard from our partners was that they want a less cluttered field. So we have taken a 'quality over quantity' approach, limiting alliances to only those that provide a clear strategic fit. We also heard a desire for exclusive access to unique content and a more collaborative approach to creative campaigns, and we're thrilled to have been able to deliver both with King Kong."

In the US Toshiba will use the eagerly awaited remake of King Kong to promote Toshiba's High Definition TVs and gigabeat digital audio players. From next month Toshiba will launch an integrated marketing campaign in the US in anticipation of the worldwide release of King Kong in theaters on 14 December 2005. Continuing the effort to enhance Toshiba's lifestyle brand, this campaign will include consumer promotions tied to key retailers to promote strong holiday sales. In support of the consumer and retailer promotions, Toshiba will launch marketing initiatives including the development of a web site and a print and online media advertising campaign in the US.

 

 

In order to remake the 1933 film Jackson has used cutting-edge computer graphics technology that

allows, for example, authentic reproduction of 1930s New York City street scenes. Toshiba states that just like Jackson has used the latest technologies to bring Kong to life on the big screen, it utilises the most advanced video and audio technologies to bring realism and vibrant images to the consumer's home entertainment room. Beginning next month Kellogg's will offer King Kong packaging on 18 million units of breakfast cereal available in 24,000 retail locations

across the US. Kellogg's will be executing additional

promotions in international territories.

The Nestle campaign, which also kicks off next month will include King Kong packaging graphics featured on more than 10 million units of the company's top-selling candy bars including Nestle Crunch, Butterfinger and Baby Ruth. Nestle's King bars will feature an instant-win sweepstakes, while the company's Beast bars will be promoted as King Kong Limited Edition Bars during the campaign.

 

 

As part of its previously announced global strategic alliance with NBC Universal, Volkswagen continues its King Kong campaign in September at the auto industry's premiere event, the upcoming IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt. During the exhibition, which runs 15-25 September Volkswagen plans an King Kong presence, including

presentations of the trailer and behind-the-scenes production footage for the expected one million show visitors.

Volkswagen's worldwide King Kong promotions will expand in November with television, print, outdoor and online campaigns as well as in-store displays at Volkswagen dealerships, sweepstakes and giveaways.

The company also will have a significant presence at King Kong's US and international premieres.

Starting in December, approximately 7,500 Burger King locations in the US will begin serving limited-run "King Kong"-themed menu items. The company will support the products, which are targeted at adult

consumers, with television and online campaigns as well as point-of-sale displays. Burger King is also promoting King Kong in a number of its international territories.

Several of the corporate partners announced including Volkswagen, Kellogg's, Toshiba, Chase, Nestle and New York City, will also be involved in cross-promotional efforts for King Kong's home entertainment release. Universal claims to have been an industry leader in alliances across multiple entertainment distribution platforms. DVD-exclusive partnerships will be announced in the future.

Jackson and his colleagues have taken an active role in the partnership process, participating in a global summit on the film's New Zealand locations. Executives from partner corporations experienced an immersive tour of all facets of the production. In an unprecedented move, select partner TV commercials for King Kong are being developed in conjunction with the King Kong production company, with digital effects produced by Weta Digital, Jackson's award-winning special effects company. This was done to ensure seamless presentation of the Kong assets tied to brand images.

Sperber adds, "This lends our partners' spots a level of authenticity that only the filmmakers could bring. It also allows for unique product integration with a film in which there is no modern-day product placement.

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