Copyright 2001 Hollywood Reporter

[ October 26th 2001 ]

Gadgets, gross-outs and adventure were some of the summer movie themes on which brand marketers were piggybacking hopes for blockbuster promotions. However, their marketing scripts for tie-ins all had the same story line: scaled back.

McDonald's was on board for only one Disney movie - and without one of its signature sweepstakes. The latest edition of Universal Pictures' big summer movie franchise, Jurassic Park III, had a limited roster of partners, with Coke signed on for an in-theater cup promotion and Wal-Mart plugging an in-store merchandising effort.

Though marketers were collectively investing about $250 million for the right to tie their names to summer movies - on par with recent years - marketers were putting less money behind the partnerships.

Pepsi, for example, spent about $50 million on a 1999 tie-in with the Star Wars prequel Episode I: The Phantom Menace vs. $20 million on a Tomb Raider tie-in during this summer.

"There are a couple of things going on," says Marla Matzer Rose of The Hollywood Reporter. "This was a quieter summer in terms of big, star-driven movies. Certainly, over the last several months, studios have had some belt-tightening across the board. That, with softening (ad spending), will probably add up to less marketing than last year." Rose said the trend was not limited to summer movies, but "People will sense it more now because summer is usually the big promotion time."

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