Sony Teams With Walmart, Marvel for ‘Amazing’ Spider-Man Promotions7 Jun, 2012 By: Ashley Ratcliff
A franchise as major as “Spider-Man” deserves a major marketing effort.
As Sony Pictures Home Entertainment gears up for the July 3 theatrical release of The Amazing Spider-Man, a reboot of the superhero series, the studio has pulled out all the stops with partners Walmart and Marvel Entertainment to bring fans unparalleled access to footage, games and merchandise.
“We know at Walmart that our customers are very passionate about Spider-Man, and we know that there’s a lot of excitement in the marketplace due to the movie coming out on July 3,” said Brent Duwe, director of entertainment property merchandising with Walmart. “We wanted to partner with Marvel and Sony to provide those customers with excitement, value and access to things that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise.”
“It’s really about giving the customer more and engaging them with Spider-Man at Walmart,” he added.
Upping the ante with its marketing, the retailer will air never-before-seen footage of The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield in the title role, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Sally Field and Denis Leary.
“Never before has a studio given a piece of footage from the film to a retailer to actually debut in-store like we’re doing,” Duwe said.
The clip will air at all Walmart stores on June 15 and 16 at 12:01 a.m., 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time, with the various screenings appealing to different audiences.
“The 12:01 [a.m. screening] is going to be the hardcore older fan, that’s more of the fan boy,” Duwe said. “At 3 o’clock it’s going to be the kids, when the moms are in the store shopping. We tried to build it in a way that is going to engage and have something for each of the different fans in a different fashion.”
Customers then will be able to purchase an exclusive DVD with that movie scene, behind-the-scenes footage and information on the forthcoming Spider-Man video game, along with a reprint of The Amazing Spider-Man #6 comic book, showcasing the first appearance of villain The Lizard — all for $2.96.
There is also a free Web-Slinger Augmented Reality smartphone app, available via iTunes or Google Play that, when aimed at a special Spider-Man poster, features Spidey in an animated fight sequence with The Lizard. The app will be updated June 15 with additional features, such as a fight sequence between Spider-Man and The Lizard on top of the comic book, and Spider-Man appearing in Walmart stores, talking with customers and shooting his web at fans.
“Our goal is to always enhance the moviegoers’ experience and provide unique and innovative ways to interact with our super heroes,” said Mark Rhodes, SVP of North American retail development at Marvel Entertainment. “This multifaceted program with Walmart in support of The Amazing Spider-Man does just that by offering fans an array of merchandise, interactive in-store elements and exclusive, never-before-seen content.”
On June 26, the Web-Slinger app’s game mode will become active. Customers will go to different locations throughout Walmart stores to find directions to unlock a clue to help Spider-Man repair his web shooter. When all clues have been obtained, the game mode of the app comes alive and users can fight The Lizard in the game.
Currently under way is a truck tour that includes stops at 1,000 Walmart locations through July 15.
On the tour, Activision representatives will demonstrate The Amazing Spider-Man video game, out June 26. Hasbro officials will showcase some of their Spider-Man toys, and Kellogg will offer free snack samples. Customers also will be able to take a picture at the event and receive a printout of the image from Hewlett Packard.
“It’s a great chance for customers to experience different parts of Spider-Man at Walmart,” Duwe said. “… It’s a very cool experience for people — very engaging and something that’s special for the people that are at the truck tour.”
“The scale of [the campaign] really is huge when you look at all the different elements … and over 1,000 SKUs that it touches throughout Walmart,” said Alison Biggers, SVP of SPHE. “It’s happening in-store, online, in social [media], and it’s in the parking lots. It’s such a large-scale program to support Spider-Man.”
Sony Pictures June 12 re-releases Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 on Blu-ray Disc ($19.99 each), all including a $10 movie ticket voucher to see The Amazing Spider-Man, UltraViolet and new bonus material.
“When we come back with The Amazing Spider-Man on DVD, it also sets Walmart up as a great destination, so we can continue a lot of the activities that we’ve been doing in the theatrical window,” Biggers said.
For more details on all the Spider-Man promotions, visit walmart.com/spiderman.