With the countdown to the Oscars now in full swing, we’ve pulled together some insight into how and why brands choose to partner with movies and how these partnerships can be activated with savvy promotional activity. 

Lights, camera, action! 

Best Supporting Role: What Motivates Brands to Make Marketing Alliances with Movies? 

Co-branded promotional campaigns between brands and movies are a popular marketing strategy to reach a wide audience and create a lasting positive image. Tapping into the hype and buzz surrounding a film helps brands get noticed and make their products or services more appealing and credible to consumers.  

Movie studios make significant investments into advertising their latest production to create engagement and anticipation for the release date – after all, they want bums in seats in the theatres. Brands partnering with big blockbusters launch their own promotional activity before, during, and after the film’s release, leveraging the movie’s promotional activities for significant exposure.  

These partnerships offer incredible storytelling opportunities, create memorable brand experiences, and boost engagement among fans. The right promotional tactic can be a dynamic marketing weapon to drive awareness, boost sales, and place a brand alongside some of the most talked about cultural events of the year. 

Nominees: Picking Your Movie Partnership Promotion 

Promotions that tap into the hedonic nature of consumer psychology are perfect to help generate and maintain the buzz around a big movie release, especially when they come with limited-time offers or limited-edition products. They lean on the consumer’s emotional connection with movies and create a sense of urgency.  

Gift With Purchase 

These promotions increase perceived value and can help introduce customers to new products. A free gift boosts customer satisfaction, creates a positive shopping experience, and strengthens brand loyalty. When the free gift is partnered with a new and exciting movie release, the offer can be hard to resist. It’s almost like the customer gets a free piece of movie merchandise. The bonus of a gift enhances the shopping experience by triggering positive emotions such as joy or surprise – much like the emotions felt after seeing a great movie. 

Gift With Purchase promotions are low-risk for the consumer, and the association with the movie positions them as a unique deal that shouldn’t be passed up. In addition, setting a minimum spend for the gift qualification can persuade customers to add a few more items to their basket. 

Instant Win Competitions 

The beauty of Instant Win promotions is that they can not only boost digital engagement, but their hype can help boost in-store traffic and add excitement with on-pack offers. They work well across multiple platforms and can motivate customers to take desired actions, like making a purchase or sharing content. The thrill of possibly winning instantly can heighten customer excitement and interaction and boost short-term sales as a result. 

Pairing this type of promotion with a movie release can really amplify impact. As moviegoers are already in countdown mode for the film’s release date, adding an extra dose of excitement and the chance to win a prize in the build-up can be a heady tonic. And don’t forget the potential of post-win strategies to engage winners after the promotion has ended, such as personalised offers or follow-up emails. 

Charity Donation 

Partnering with a movie for charitable purposes helps brands foster a meaningful association and showcase their values and commitment to corporate social responsibility. By choosing films that resonate with their target audience, brands create authentic and purpose-driven initiatives. 

Charity partnerships contribute to positive public relations, building consumer trust. Ultimately, these collaborations benefit both the brand and the movie by providing mutual promotional support and contributing to social impact. 

Limited-edition collaborations 

Another great approach to activating movie partnerships involves embracing traditional limited-edition collaboration strategies to generate a sense of exclusivity and scarcity. By tying the product to a movie release, the product becomes a unique and special item that appeals to film fans. Even more, if the film becomes a classic the product becomes valuable memorabilia to collectors. 

Creating a limited-edition product provides a unique selling proposition, and the sense of scarcity and urgency encourages consumers to make a purchase sooner rather than later to secure the exclusive product, driving sales and creating a buzz around the offering. 

The Showreel: How Brands Have Activated Movie Partnerships with Promotional Activity  

We’ve outlined some examples of promotional tactics that have activated and elevated movie partnerships. 

Brand: Bosch 

Film: Transformers Rise of the Beasts 

Promotional tactic: Gift with Purchase 

We helped Bosch execute this promotion that offered a free 3Ah battery when customers spent £70 on selected Bosch 18V products in a single transaction within a set period. 

With high energy creative that both aligned with the film’s look and feel and showcased Bosch’s range of home and garden tools (all of which enjoyed their own Transformer-esque morph into characters from the film), this promotion added a dose of excitement to ordinary DIY tools. 

Success factors

  • Creative Alignment with Film Aesthetics: This strategy hinges on the creative integration of product marketing with the thematic elements of the film. By designing promotions that visually and conceptually echo the aesthetics of “Transformers Rise of the Beasts,” Bosch not only captivated the film’s audience but also transformed the perception of DIY tools into exciting, must-have gadgets. This approach bridges the gap between entertainment and utility, making the promotional products more appealing.
  • Urgency and Exclusivity: The promotion’s effectiveness was amplified by its limited availability, strategically planned around the film’s release. This creates a natural spike in consumer interest, tapping into the FOMO effect. By making the offer exclusive to a specific timeframe, Bosch encouraged immediate action, leveraging the heightened awareness and excitement surrounding the movie premiere.
  • Value Addition Through Complementary Products: Offering a free 3Ah battery with qualifying purchases was a masterstroke in adding tangible value to the customer’s investment. This not only incentivises the initial purchase but also encourages future purchases by highlighting the compatibility and extended utility of Bosch’s product range. It’s a strategy that fosters brand loyalty by ensuring customers perceive their purchase as not just a transaction but an investment in a suite of compatible tools.

Brand: Yamaha 

Film: Trolls World Tour 

Promotional tactic: Instant Win 

 We executed an Instant Win promotion for Yamaha on the occasion of the Sydney premiere of DreamWorks Trolls’ World Tour. 

Customers who bought any Yamaha Home Audio product could take part in an Instant Win competition to win a wide range of Yamaha prizes. The grand prize was a trip for a family of four to attend the premiere in Sidney, including flights and accommodation. 

Success factors

  • Engagement Through Prize Diversity: The wide array of prizes available in the Instant Win promotion served multiple strategic purposes. First, it ensured that the promotion appealed to a broad segment of Yamaha’s target market, from casual consumers to more dedicated audiophiles. Secondly, by offering daily prizes, Yamaha maintained a constant level of engagement, encouraging participants to interact with the brand repeatedly over the promotion period.
  • Strategic Promotion Timing: The timing of the promotion to coincide with the Sydney premiere of “Trolls World Tour” was a calculated move to capitalise on the buzz and excitement surrounding the event. This not only ensured maximum visibility for the promotion but also created a direct link between the excitement of the film and Yamaha’s product line, enhancing the overall appeal of the promotion.
  • Incentivising Product Exploration: By tying the chance to win prizes to the purchase of home audio products, Yamaha cleverly incentivized customers to explore and purchase from their range. This strategy not only drove sales during the promotion period but also introduced new customers to Yamaha’s offerings, potentially expanding their customer base and fostering long-term loyalty.

Brand: Purina Dog Chow Brand Dog Food

Film: The Adventures of Tintin

Promotional tactic: Charity Donation & Referral

Purina Dog Chow Brand Dog Food joined forces with Paramount Pictures’ movie The Adventures of Tintin to support three service and therapy dog organisations in the United States. During this limited-time promotion, the brand will donate $1 for every consumer who likes the page, up to a total of $150,000. Participants are encouraged to share the page with their friends. For each friend who visits the promotion page through the shared link, an additional $1 will be donated.

Success Factors

  • Alignment with Social Causes: This promotion’s success was significantly driven by its alignment with a cause that resonates deeply with its audience. By supporting service and therapy dog organisations, Purina Dog Chow not only leveraged the feel-good factor of charitable giving but also strengthened its brand identity as a company that cares about the welfare of dogs. This alignment enhances customer loyalty and trust, as consumers are more likely to support brands that reflect their personal values and concerns.
  • Leveraging Social Media for Engagement: Utilizing social media platforms for this campaign maximised its reach and engagement. By encouraging participants to like, share, and invite friends, Purina Dog Chow exponentially increased its promotion’s visibility. This strategy not only leveraged the viral potential of social media but also fostered a sense of community and collective action among participants, enhancing the campaign’s impact.
  • Creating a Sense of Community: The campaign’s focus on shared values and collective goals was instrumental in building a strong emotional connection between the brand and its audience. By rallying dog lovers around a common cause, Purina Dog Chow fostered a sense of community and belonging, which is a powerful driver of brand loyalty and advocacy. This approach underscores the importance of building emotional ties and shared experiences in creating a loyal customer base.

Brand: Mastercard

Film: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Promotional tactic: Special Edition and Cashback

Mastercard piggybacked on the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to target its huge superfan base with a Marvel-branded credit card. With six customisable Marvel designs, this card is not just a payment method but a must-have for enthusiasts and collectors. Plus, consumers can earn up to 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, and Marvel purchases and 1% on everything else.

Success factors

  • Leveraging Fan Base Passion: The strategic decision to offer a Marvel-branded credit card directly targeted the passionate fan base of the MCU. By offering customisable card designs, Mastercard tapped into the personalisation trend, allowing fans to express their affinity for their favorite characters in a unique way. This not only deepened the emotional connection between fans and the brand but also turned a standard financial product into a collector’s item, enhancing its perceived value.
  • Rewards that Reflect Customer Interests: The tailored rewards system, offering cashback on dining, entertainment, and specifically Marvel purchases, was designed to resonate with the lifestyle and interests of the target audience. This approach ensured that the card offered not just financial benefits but also enriched the customer’s experience with the brand, making it a more integral part of their daily life and fandom.
  • Enhancing Brand Identity through Partnership: Collaborating with the Marvel Cinematic Universe allowed Mastercard to elevate its brand by associating with one of the most popular and beloved franchises in the world. This partnership not only broadened Mastercard’s appeal among a wider audience but also reinforced its position as a brand that offers more than just financial services—it offers an experience and a connection to a larger cultural phenomenon.


Find the Perfect Fit For Your Brand


Timing is Everything 

Timing is paramount. Movie enthusiasts might be captivated by one film today, only to shift their focus a week later when a newer release hits the screens. With shorter attention spans and swift content turnover on platforms like Netflix, the window for movie-related marketing is incredibly narrow. 

That’s why every moment is crucial. It is essential to have a well-thought-out plan executed with precision both leading up to and following the movie release date.  Aim for maximum awareness right from the start. Amplify the partnership through 360-degree touchpoints: in-store, on your website, social media, and in brand publications. 

Closing credits 

Movie partnerships are a huge opportunity for brands to increase engagement and awareness and drive sales in a relatively short time frame. They can help brands create marketing campaigns that tap into consumers’ emotional connection and excitement towards the film, its characters, and its genre.   

The right promotional tactic can make all the difference in activating movie partnerships and elevating them to realise their very best potential.   

Get in touch today, and let’s see how we can maximise your next movie partnership with the right promotional activity.