Today – in our follow-up on Tuesday’s post about co-branding – we’ll discuss co-marketing. But instead of talking about it in general terms, let’s delve into the topic using a medium that is of interest to a lot of our Tenlegs filmmakers.
Let’s talk about movies.
Many filmmakers might scoff at the idea of including a glorified advertisement in their projects, but they’re forgetting how iconic the right product placements can actually be.
For example, Tom Cruise in Ray-Bans in Risky Business and Top Gun…
Great co-marketing comes down to finding the right two brands to bring together. It’s not about creating a hybrid product like with co-branding, but about associating two brands in order to enhance or alter the perceptions of one or both brands.
In terms of great films, it’s about including a product or brand that deepens our understanding of a character, a place, or a theme. It’s a difficult task; you can’t necessarily include the product from the company who is offering you the most money, but you almost always can find brands that make sense in your fictional world.
One of the most innovative film studios, Relativity Media, has found a way to marry the demands of taking on clients who actually want to participate in films with the artistic demands of finding the right movie to make the branding experience mutually beneficial.
Basically, Relativity Media will sign on corporate partners, who each have the exclusive right to be the official sponsor of a given consumer good – like bottled water. The company won’t flood (pun intended) their movies with this brand. You’re not going to find a gangster drinking SmartWater. What you will find is SmartWater on set, at red carpet events and in movies/scenes where such a product actually makes sense. Since Relativity Media always has new projects coming in, the task of finding the right artistic fit is not so daunting.
Even if you’re not working with a full-scale film studio, there are always ways to be innovative to help fund your movie. Maybe your project is local, and you can ask a neighborhood store, bar, or restaurant to partner up?
More than anything, let’s just remember going forward that the stigma of product placement needs to be rethought. After all, real people choose products that project a certain image to others. Why shouldn’t fictional characters do the same?