A brand partnership with the latest film release can seem like the obvious choice if you want an appealing family promotion. Movies bring excitement, glamour and new audiences to your FMCG brand. A chance to amplify your promotional budget to deliver something that really has impact with the target audience. But it is not without pitfalls. Here I explore some of the things to look out for.

Cinema is in resurgence in the UK attracting cinema goers of all ages back to the big screen. 2015 was a bumper year for cinema admissions, up 9% to 172 million visits. That is almost 3 trips for every person. With huge 4K digital screens and powerful 3D sound, it really is an indulgent, immersive family experience.

UK Top 10 box office movies in 2015
Star Wars: The Force Awakens £113m
Spectre £94.7m
Jurassic World £64.5m
The Avengers: Age of Ultron £48.3m
Minions £47.7m
Inside Out £39.2m
Fast & Furious 7 £38.6m
Fifty Shades of Grey £35m
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 2 £29m
Home £25.4m

It can be tempting for FMCG brands to want a piece of the action. But which do you pick? The start point of course is the target audience. Age? Mindset? Genre? Do you want to reach savvy millennials or capture the imaginations of a families nationwide? With hundreds of films released each year you can be sure there will be new movies that fit with your brand.

Soreen brand partnership with Minions
Brass created the Meet the Minions campaign for Soreen lunchbox loaves last summer. Targeting young families across the UK it went on to become their most successful on pack promotion ever. We offered the chance to party with Kevin, Bob and Stuart at Universal Studios; a unique ‘money can’t buy’ experience that encouraged thousands of families to try the brand for the very first time. The yellow Minions were a perfect fit for Soreen with a mischievous, active outlook on life and a mutual love of bananas!

Negotiating a movie brand partnership is not an easy option however. They are difficult to agree, time consuming to manage, and complex to deliver, with multiple stakeholders often spread across the world’s time zones. The use of movie characters and assets will be restricted by complex guidelines from the film studio. These detail key poses, colour, phrases and friendships and may even specify what personalities they have!

They require FMCG brand managers to take a more pragmatic approach to their creative execution and budgets, acknowledging the lure of the movie partnership outweighs any short term compromises presented.

To maximise the opportunity, work with a specialist promotional agency, with proven brand partnership experience. They can ensure the best brand fit, add value, negotiate unique prize experiences and help you avoid the many pitfalls. Ultimately they will be responsible for creating a campaign that meets your brand’s key objectives, be that driving household penetration, frequency of purchase or sales uplift.

Forthcoming big family movies
So what are the big family film releases to look out for over the next 12 – 18 months? I’m eagerly looking forward to Disney’s Finding Dory in June; Roald Dahl’s The BFG in July; a new animation called Sing from Illumination Entertainment next January, and of course the ever popular Despicable Me 3 and Toy Story 4 around summer 2017.

If you want your brand to go to the movies, please get in touch with me on 0113 230 4000 or p.mcgann@brassagency.com

Paul McGann, Managing partner, Brass

Sources: UK Cinema association; BFI, Rentrak, Illumination Entertainment

Soreen brand partnership with Minions

Sing in cinemas January 2017