Wednesday, August 1, 2007

D'oh! The marketing behind The Simpsons Movie

My nominee for media plan of the year (so far) is The Simpson’s Movie. The challenge associated with marketing this film was to take a franchise that has been on television every week for 18 years and get people excited to see the movie. The marketing of this film is simply brilliant. By now we’ve probably all heard about the partnership where several 7-Eleven’s across the country converted their stores into Kwik-E-Mart’s, the fictional convenience store from the show. 7-Eleven also changed the name of their signature drink from a Slurpee to a Squishee during the promotion. Kudos to 7-Eleven for such extraordinary risk taking. It paid off big time as they received A LOT of PR mileage out of this. Of course, it was also a homerun for the movie. It was a true win-win partnership.

Another element of the campaign was the competition among 14 Springfields across the country for the right to hold the hometown premiere of the movie. This contest got large groups of people in 14 cities working together to create videos illustrating their enthusiasm for The Simpsons. Consumers then voted for the best video. The competition drew almost 110,000 votes. This was a great example of letting go of your brand and an excellent use of consumer generated content. Springfield, VT won the competition. Their video really got the whole town involved.

A third element of the campaign is the website where consumers can upload their own photo and have it turned into one of the characters from the Movie. It’s a very engaging web site that drew so much traffic that their servers were overloaded at the start of the campaign. A simpsonized photo of me at the Kwik-E-Mart is above.

But you can’t win Media Plan of the Year without results. And the Simpsons Movie has certainly got those. The Simpson’s Movie raked in $71.8 million on opening weekend, blowing away the aggressive $50 million projection of 20th Century Fox. It left all other films saying D'oh!

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