Sony Pictures Entertainment‘s Consumer Marketing EVP George Leon announced today it has lined up one of the studio’s largest ever worldwide promotional campaigns to support the July 31st launch of The Smurfs 2. Studio sources tell me the hotly anticipated sequel has $150 million being put up by these tie-ins with 100 corporation and licensee and retail global partners — from McDonald’s to Wal-Mart to Toys R Us to even blueberries. That’s huge dealmaking for Sony Animation family fare that’s not Disney, Pixar, or DreamWorks branded. This 3D hybrid live-action/CG animated global pic was able to build on the success of 2011′s The Smurfs which took in $563 million at the worldwide box office. Many key promotional partners returning from the first film and the second film more than doubling the total number of promotional partners and tripling the total promotional value and marketing support for The Smurfs 2. The hook is to give consumers the ability to ‘live’ the Smurfs brand.
Hollywood never expected The Smurfs to become such a box office phenom. Even though the studio always had confidence in the franchise — and now The Smurfs 3 already is scheduled for 2015. Sure, it’s easy to look down your nose at The Smurfs, but it was taken out of turnaround from Paramount by then Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman/CEO Michael Lynton, now the Sony America bigwig. Here’s more from today’s overly long announcement:
In doing so, the studio is going beyond the traditional promotional partner approach to offer a multi-generational lifestyle-based program that takes Smurf enthusiasts from the fashion runway to social media channels, and from mass merchant and department store-based programs to quick service restaurant experiences, allowing consumers to interact with the Smurfs in ways they never have before.
Said Leon: “This time, retailers are taking a bigger position on Smurfs product to meet increased consumer demand. Each of these collaborations– whether new, returning or expanding – is a true testament to the broad appeal of The Smurfs. Across generations, demographics and lifestyle categories, The Smurfs interact with consumers in ways few other brands do.”
The Smurfs 2 promotional partners include: McDonald’s (The Smurfs 2 Happy Meal with unique Smurf toys in North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, and Latin America.) Jakks Pacific (Smurf plush figures, activities and play sets), Build-A-Bear Workshop (Smurfette or Naughties, Vexy and Hackus), Wal-Mart (nationwide tour of five Smurf-ified Dash electric vehicles), Macy’s (Great American Drive-In event), Toys R Us (in-store Smurfs Feature Shop), Junk Food (Le Look Smurfette, a New York Fashion Week runway show), Ubisoft (video gaming licensee), Beeline (mobile game licensee). Also Pressman Toys, Schleich, Goldie Marketing, Mega Brands, USAopoly, Crocs, Ashley Furniture, Color Me Mine, Haribo, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, It’Sugar, Buddy Fruits, and Gourmet Trading Company.
Overseas key partners include: Capri Sun, Chupa Chips, Ferrero, Starwood Hotels, Albert, Tesco, Konzum, Cora/Match, Total, Candy Up, Photomaton, Stars and Rice, Kuschelweich, Sunil, Milkana, Garnier, Hertz, Johnson & Johnson, Brioche Pasquier, Best Western, Bassetti, Negroni, PreGel, Shopping Boulevard Londrina, Boulevard Shopping Mall, Shopping Villa Lobos, CNA Language School, Perdigao, Agua de Cheiro, BBVA Bancomer, Kraft Foods, Saber Integrarse, Del Monte, Valle Redondo, Sony Recording Media, Sony Electronics, Sony Mobile.
Discover the Forest is a Smurf-centric PSA campaign designed to encourage children and their families to reconnect with nature developed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council in partnership with Sony Pictures.
The sequel is directed by Raja Gosnell and produced by Jordan Kerner. The screenplay is by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss and Jay Scherick & David Ronn and Karey Kirkpatrick with a story by Stem & Weiss & Scherick & Ronn based on the characters and works of Belgian artist Pierre “Peyo” Culliford who created The Smurfs. Later brought to both the big and small screen, the little blue characters have sold millions of records and CDs, entire collections of figurines and toys, and in all more than 3,000 derived products. Lafig Belgium is the owner of the rights controlled by Culliford’s heirs. The cartoon first launched in Europe in 1958 under the name Schtroumpfs.