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BIG BOOST FOR MOVIE MERCHANDISE
Copyright 2001 www.tombraiderchronicles.com Source: Internet Wire

[ June 26th 2001 ]

Paramount Pictures recently enrolled the help of Ericsson, Pepsi and Land Rover who associated the Lara Croft brand to help sell their products and promote the Tomb Raider motion picture. Internet Wire today focuses on the ramifications such ties has on the commercial market:

Noticed Tomb Raider star Angelina Jolie strutting her stuff on the side of your super-size Mountain Dew at Taco Bell recently? Thank a 152-year-old company in the traditional Midwestern "rust belt" for the pleasure. As part of the giant, privately-held Menasha Corporation, Promo Edge is headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, where it has carved out a lucrative niche in the field of game-piece merchandising and other promotional products for major movies, brand manufacturers and others. This week, Taco Bell, a division of Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc., is promoting the Promo Edge-designed "The Tomb Raider Instant-Win Game" on its fountain drinks. Promo Edge helped design and produce the game for Tricon, which has exclusive Tomb Raider licensing rights among quick service (fast-food) restaurants.

"Movie merchandising is clearly a huge industry and certainly fun for us to be involved in," says Tom Kukuk, New Business Development Director at Promo Edge. "For us it was a natural evolution, having been involved in retail game-pieces and other creative promo products since our inception." Paramount has deals with phone maker Ericcson and auto manufacturer Land Rover in addition to Pepsi and Tricon Global as promotional partners for its film version of the video game "Lara Croft Tomb Raider," which opened June 15. Together, the partners are expected to contribute $30 million-$35 million in media support to the action movie starring Angelina Jolie, bringing total media spending from partners and the studio to about $50 million. This is Pepsi's first movie tie-in since "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" and its only summer movie promotion this year.

According to Kukuk, Pepsi will be tying to the film through TV and print ads, special packaging and in-store materials on all core Pepsi brands, linking to a sweepstakes. A major prize is Sony's hot PlayStation 2. The Davie-Brown Agency, led by Jim Davie and Brad Brown in Los Angeles, was instrumental in putting the deal together. For Ericsson, "Raider" marks the only major film tie-in besides the 1997 Bond flick "Tomorrow Never Dies." Dusyant Patel, vice-president of marketing for Ericsson Consumer Products, said Ericsson currently has an "integrated marketing effort" around Tomb Raider, complete with TV and print advertising that uses images of the film and its stars, a sweepstakes, in-store signage and trade promotions such as private screenings.

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