Hollywood, ever desperate to maximize audience size, has been looking at expanding its most lucrative segment. The summer season is the blockbuster sector of the calendar, and over the past decade or so studios have desired to expand that frame. More than a 3 month season anymore, May has long been involved and lately more blockbusters have been rolled out in April to kick off the “summer”.
This weekend the long-awaited culmination of the first portion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was released. “Avengers: Infinity War” is getting all the expected traits of a summer blockbuster release; Massive budget, wide release format, and a heavy advertising blitz. The film is expected to gross well over $200 million this weekend alone.
There is a good reason for this week’s rollout. Disney moved the date back one week, probably in a move to give this more of a chance to wring as many dollars out of the finale as it can, before the studio’s next monolithic release, “Solo: A Star Wars Story”.
This movie is also getting a marketing partnership that looks as expansive as its immense cast. Many high-end products/companies have joined in. This is usually a big matter, but even by summer epic standards, the “AIW” partnership list is big. It is estimated these tie-in partners may be contributing up to $150 million in marketing assistance.
Of that sum, $40 million alone is arriving via the partnering with Coca-Cola. The soft drink company is going all in to sell this one, with labeled products and a brown tidal wave of advertising in all its global markets. A probable reason for that huge buy-in could be they had to outbid Dr. Pepper, which had been the soft drink of choice for prior Avengers releases, as well as other MCU hero films.
One of the better tie-in promos is also one of the more obvious. Many big-name films have an automotive partnership. Once a nameplate is signed on you can be sure the prominence of that car maker will be seen on camera. (Recall, almost every vehicle in “Jurassic World” was coincidentally a Mercedes. The lone difference was Chris Pratt’s Triumph motorcycle.) For this iteration of “The Avengers” they struck pure synergistic nirvana, by signing on with Infinity. Yes, it is the obvious choice, and yes — the QX50 makes an on-camera appearance in “Infinity War”.
However not all partnerships are made to land in that perfect strike zone of customer gold. Geico Insurance has signed on, and they do not exactly fit into the universe. The best they managed was a commercial with their iconic Gecko carrying on an “inspiring” speech with the characters of the film; more specifically, a collection of stationary action figures. Not exactly a needle-mover as far as insurance spots go.
Another miss comes with Quicken Loans joining in. With no real organic connection, they went with a special effects-laden commercial, where a millennial gal scores a home loan on her phone, oblivious to the mayhem and carnage swirling around her via a few of the heroes slipping into frame.
I am not exactly sure what marriage to the film would be here, but I do know this missed a HUGE opportunity. With all of the characters available in this ensemble epic, how does Rocket Mortgage not bring in Rocket Raccoon, a member of Guardians of the Galaxy?!?!?
That is pure marketing gold, right there!