Red Carpet For White Castle

New Line summer teen pic stars burger brand

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% White Castle System, the privately held family company from Columbus,Ohio, has carved out a quirky, distinctive niche in the fast-feeder category with a band of loyal—some would say cultish—devotees. The company's mythology seems poised to expand as the brand is now the star of a New Line Cinema feature film to be released in July.

"Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" is a road comedy that chronicles the attempts of two stoner roommates who go out to satisfy their craving for White Castle hamburgers, affectionately referred to as "sliders" by many fans, but wind up on the "road trip from hell."

While White Castle licensed its brand name to the Time Warner-owned studio, the company doesn't have any ownership in the film but is enthusiastic about it and will promote it at retail with drink cups and is also considering throwing spot radio support behind the film. Terms of the licensing deal were undisclosed.

"When we saw the script , we saw it as a love letter to White Castle. And while it may not quite be 'Jason and the Argonauts,' it's heroic in every sense of the word," said Jamie Richardson, director of marketing at White Castle.

%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% New Line approached White Castle a year and a half ago with the screenplay, written by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. "From the get-go we saw this as something absolutely authentic and it resonated in terms of the quest that the characters Harold and Kumar go on—basically the road trip from hell in their quest to satisfy their cravings for White Castle—is what we hear from thousands of customers each year," said Richardson.

The film was directed by Danny Leiner ("Dude, Where's My Car?") and stars John Cho ("American Pie" movies) and Kal Penn ("Van Wilder").

According to CMR/TNS Media Intelligence, White Castle spent $12.3 million in total advertising spending for 2003, most of it in spot TV and radio. Richardson said White Castle doesn't do national broadcast network TV buys because the core of its business is concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest.

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