The upcoming film Madagascar 3 is using promotional stickers on bananas to get people into theaters this summer. This isn't the first time that a major motion picture has spawned compelling promotional items as part of its advertising campaign, and other retailers can take a page in successful brand visibility from the initiative.
Bringing home memories
In the case of 'Madagascar 3' the studio is using outside advertising to get the word out, but sometimes a patron will be given a promotional item at the time that they pay for a ticket. Promotional key chains have been popular in the past with releases like 'Almost Famous,' 'Big Fish' and 'Hellboy.' Other movies like 'Dinosaur' and 'Pokemon' have given away collectible cards, while 'Anchorman' and 'Spiderman' handed out promotional pens with movie stubs.
These items symbolize a person has seen a film and can show it off to friends, family and co-workers. They in turn will want to acquire a free commemorative item as well, bringing in more revenue for the movie theater and the production company, making these promotional items a desirable expense for the movie industry as they provide a solid return on investment.
Reliving the experience
Promotional items can also make a consumer more willing to purchase a film once it's released on DVD and Bluray. Bundling additional items like keychains, pens, T-shirts and other swag can boost sales and increase the desirability of a DVD, as well as interest in the movie itself. While some are simply outlandish, like 'Man of the Year's free George Washington wig or 'Kung Fu Panda's punching bag, a free T-shirt or movie poster like those released with 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Matrix' are practical advertising strategies as well as incentives to consumers.
The nice part about promotional wall calendars or posters is that they're easy to distribute and are displayed prominently in various parts of a person's home and office, meaning other people are likely to encounter them on a regular basis. This sort of conditioning will get them thinking about the product and may increase the likelihood that they too will go out and research it or even buy it.