EA, WB Going Looney Tunes22 Nov, 2003 By: John Gaudiosi
One of Warner Bros.' crown jewels, “Looney Tunes,” is getting plenty of exposure this fall. Warner Home Video has shipped four new DVD collections of the popular cartoons; there's a new big-screen feature blending live action with animation, Looney Tunes: Back in Action; and a GameCube and PlayStation 2 video game from Electronic Arts (EA) and Warner Bros. Consumer Products based on the film hit shelves Nov. 19.
Because of its co-publishing agreement with EA, Warner Bros. is working on additional crosspromotional opportunities with the game. General Mills' Looney Tunes: Back in Action cereal will provide gamers with exclusive video game cheat codes, Wendy's will provide consumers with a $5 coupon off the purchase of the game at Toys “R” Us, and Frigo Cheese Heads and Kids WB will promote the game. In addition to advertising on the movie posters during opening weekend in the top 12 markets, moviegoers receive stickers promoting the game. The new line of “Looney Tunes” DVDs also includes a “Making of the Game” featurette.
“Our marketing strategy, which will reach over 50 million impressions, puts the video game on the same level as the film, so that partners that are on board for the film are also on board for the game,” said Philippe Erwin, VP of interactive entertainment at Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
The “Looney Tunes” brand has had success in the video game industry for years, thanks to the initial 2-D graphics of early systems that could easily replicate the cartoon world. Next-generation platforms have transported the action to 3-D with solid results. Because a generation of kids grew up with “Looney Tunes,” the games have attracted a wide audience.
A trailer on the game will help promote the film, said Dave Hedrick, VP of promotional marketing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
With the future DVD release of Back in Action expected in 2004, EA has a large window of opportunity for keeping “Looney Tunes” fresh in gamers' minds. Warner Bros. is looking at this co-publishing deal as an experiment, and should the game turn out to be a hit, future deals could follow.