Spiderman the Movie is a Web of Merchandising

It’s no secret that the film industry has become a breeding ground for merchandising opportunities. In the past few decades, we’ve seen an explosion of products related to our favorite movie stars and characters. But with these new ventures also come new challenges for marketers, who must find ways to create demand for products that are essentially unrelated to their films. In this article, we explore how brands like Marvel have managed to successfully market their movies through licensing deals, interactive apps, and a host of other promotional tactics. Read on to learn more.

What Is Movie Marketing Through Licensing?

Licensing is a form of marketing in which a brand creates a product and then allows other companies to manufacture and distribute it. When a movie studio licenses its properties, it allows outside companies to create products based on the characters or themes of the movie. Licensing can take the form of apparel, toys, collectibles, books, or a range of other products. And when these products are manufactured, the companies that produce them must pay a fee to the studios that created them. In exchange for this fee, the studios allow these companies to use their intellectual property to create products, essentially promoting the movie for them. In some cases, the licensing of a film can make up a significant part of a movie studio’s revenue.

Behind the Scenes of Film Marketing Through Licensing

Marvel Studios has a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to promotions. By carefully choosing which products to associate with the brand, they can market the films without over-saturating the market. To produce high-quality products that people will want to purchase, Marvel has partnered with several top-notch brands. For example, the Audi e-Tron, a futuristic car, appeared in the film. Audi, who also produced the car, created a limited edition model that they sold at a premium. In addition to producing high-end merchandise, Marvel also found success with more affordable products, such as apparel and toys. The studio has found partners in Wal-Mart, Target, and Hot Topic, who specialize in producing and selling inexpensive items.

Marvel’s Success With Licensed Products

While many studios shy away from merchandise, fearing that it will distract from the films themselves, Marvel has found that it can be a powerful tool. While films like "Black Panther" and "Avengers: Endgame" have made millions at the box office, they’ve also generated a substantial amount of revenue through licensing deals. For example, when Marvel Studios produced its first film, "Iron Man", it entered into a licensing agreement with a Chinese company. The Chinese company paid Marvel a fee in exchange for the rights to produce Iron Man-themed toys, apparel, and other products. Since then, Marvel has generated a large amount of revenue thanks to its licensing deals. Licensing and merchandising deals have become so important to the brand that it has formed a subdivision of the company dedicated to making licensing deals.

Other Forms of Film Marketing Through Licensing

In addition to the distribution of toys, apparel, and other products, the licensing of films has opened up a host of other marketing opportunities. For example, the integration of brands with films can also extend to promotional tie-ins, where films are temporarily done up in a certain way. On the release of "The Dark Knight", the Warner Bros. studio temporarily changed the name of the film to "The Dark Knight Rises" to tie in with the release of the new Batman comic book. They also placed a comic book-inspired logo on the poster and added a "Batman" logo to the credits. The branding of films with partner products can also take the form of promotional campaigns, such as tie-in websites, where films and brands are advertised together. Finally, films can become part of an augmented-reality game.

Film Marketing Through Apps

One of the most popular ways for studios to generate revenue from films is through the creation of apps that are related to the film. For example, Disney released a mobile game, "Where’s My Water?", as a promotion for one of their films. "Where’s My Water?" features an animated alligator and has been downloaded more than 150 million times. But Disney doesn’t have a monopoly on mobile games. A host of other studios have created apps for their films. Clash of Clans, a popular mobile strategy game, partnered with 20th Century Fox to promote the release of "The Simpsons: Tapped Out", an app based on the Simpsons franchise. Additionally, studios have released several augmented-reality apps, which allow players to interact with the films.

Final Words

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that the film industry has become a breeding ground for merchandising opportunities. Part of this is because studios are more focused than ever on generating revenue. And while licensing products may seem like a good way to make money, it can be difficult for studios to find the right partners. In fact, in the past, several brands have turned down partnerships with studios, such as Apple, Coca-Cola, and many others.