Burger King, Blockbuster Lend Marketing Muscles for Happy Feet Film

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Blockbuster and Burger King, among others, are backing the upcoming release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ animated feature Happy Feet with a host of promotions, including sweepstakes and movie-themed premiums.

For its support, Blockbuster is rolling out a full-scale marketing program in 22 markets, which will include in-store signage, store events and an online sweepstakes tied to the film. Store employees will help tout the film by wearing Happy Feet gear. Blockbuster stores will also offer in-store photo stations and carry Happy Feet merchandise, including a plush toy, movie-branded gift card, games and a Happy Feet video game. The company is also promoting the movie via its in-store TV network and e-mail blasts.

To hype up the promotion, Blockbuster stores in various markets will host special events, including live penguin appearances, Happy Feet screenings and in-store contests dangling prizes to customers who dress up like a penguin, Tami Cannizzaro, Blockbuster spokesperson said.

On Nov. 7, the retailer will roll out a sweepstakes in which customers enter codes at Blockbuster.com from store receipts for a chance to win a grand prize penguin adventure trip in San Diego. Codes will also be available on the site. The sweeps runs through Dec. 11. Online materials and in-store signage will support.

The effort is part of a growing attempt by Blockbuster to push films during their theatrical release, as opposed to waiting for home video releases. Blockbuster plans to launch one or two other marketing programs each year, the company said. P.r., radio spots and online materials also support.

“It’s a great fit, particularly for the many Blockbuster customers with kids at home,” said curt Andrews, senior VP and CMO, for Blockbuster, in a statement.

Idea Planet, Dallas, handles premiums and P-O-P; PRG, New York, handles the sweeps and Creata Digital Group, Atlanta, handles the microsite and online game.

Happy Feet tells the tale of Mumble, a penguin who can’t sing, but finds his uncanny talent for tap dancing. The movie opens nationwide Nov. 17.

Partner Burger King next week will launch a promotion tied to the film. Starting Nov. 6, the QSR will offer a 99 cents Kids Meal with every adult value meal purchased through Nov. 26. In addition, Burger King will dangle a collection of Happy Feet-themed premiums (12 in all). Each premium, available in Burger King Kids meals, will include a two-piece egg that will reveal a surprise toy inside and a $5 Best Buy coupon off the Happy Feet video game.

Each premium insert will carry a series of snowflake codes that can be entered in an online sweepstakes. One grand-prize winner gets a trip for a family to San Francisco to see real-life penguins. Lesser prizes include movie-themed posters and DVDs. Online, Burger King will offer a Happy Feet dedicated kids Web site and a downloadable Blockbuster coupon for a free rental. VML, handles the Web site. Equity Marketing, Los Angeles, handles the sweeps.

From restaurants to the malls, Happy Feet will get a marketing boost from Taubman Centers, Inc. with an interactive snow globe display tied to the film. The exhibit, which opens today in 17 Taubman shopping malls, brings moments of the movie to life via a 20-foot walk-through snow globe featuring falling snow and a cold Antarctic blast in Mumble’s home. In addition, three 6-foot snow globes offer additional interactive elements and a walk-through 28-foot holiday tree offers character details and a green screen experience for holiday photos with the Happy Feet cast. Admission is free. The Becker Group, a Baltimore-based experiential marketing company, handles the snow globe event. In-mall signage, TV spots and print ads support.

Also at retail, Build-A-Bear Workshop has signed a deal with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to offer make-your-own and pre-stuffed Happy Feet characters at its stores. Visitors can make their own Mumble starting Nov. 9 at Build-A-Bear stores for $22. Pre-stuffed characters featuring Gloria, Lovelace and Ramon will also be available for $7 each or $15 for the set of three.

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