Flights of Fancy Advertising

I keep seeing kiddy films paired up for two-fer advertisement in unusual places these days, beyond the old (and nowadays questionable) of pairing merchandise with kids’ meals (really, any marketing tied in to fast food at all is old hat). Despicable Me was hooked up with IHOP this summer for some thematic new menu items. Megamind was loosely tied into a commercial for the Chase Freedom card. Or not-so-kiddy flicks, like the Verizon/Star Trek commercial.

“Cross-promotion” would seem to be the technical term for this, and yes, I’m aware it’s been been going on for longer than the time passed since advertisements for the aforementioned movies began. The Megamind one was what really caught my eye: not only are the things totally unrelated (this isn’t product placement, it isn’t a product tie-in like Volvo to Twilight or Audi to Iron Man, and it isn’t movie-inspired merchandise), but the target demographics seem to be completely different. Credit card-seekers may have kids they’d want to take to the movie, but it’s such a specious link for such divergent products. Since commercials (and any marketing material) are probably the most obvious examples of information design affecting our reception of information anyone encounters daily, it seems a little strange that the not-really-subtlety of them would be so disregarded.

In any event, this got me thinking about better product tie-ins. I recently started and got caught up on AMC’s The Walking Dead, and I rather think I would love to see a hardware store score a geeky niche ad with it (or the next any zombie flick, either way). Shovels and axes? 2x4s for barricading the windows? Come get them at the Home Depot. Maybe Dexter and some Wüsthof knives. *cough*Twilight and blood donation?*cough* So much wasted potential.

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