NBCUniversal's ad sales team is chumming the water for sponsors of the third installment of Syfy's deliriously over-the-top "Sharknado" franchise, and it's landed a whopper in Benefit Cosmetics.
The San Francisco-based makeup brand has inked a cross-portfolio deal with NBCU around "Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!," which includes a custom vignette featuring star Tara Reid and Bravo reality fixture Kyle Richards, as well as an integration within the movie itself.
Set inside a Benefit boutique, the 30-second clip finds Ms. Reid and the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star using They're Real! Mascara to dispatch a hungry CGI shark that's been blown into the store. (In keeping with the grand tradition of the "Sharknado" films, none of this makes even a little bit of sense—which is why the spot's a perfect fit all the way around.)
Parenthetically, the pairing of Ms. Reid and a mascara brand seems perfectly apposite, as her signature look over the years can be characterized as "smoky-eyed" or "Party Raccoon," depending on how charitably disposed you are.
The They're Real :30 will air on Bravo, Syfy and E! in advance of the July 22 premiere of "Sharknado 3."
"The 'Sharknado' franchise has proven to be unmatched marketing platform for advertisers, combining the enormous power of television with unparalleled social amplification," said Alison Tarrant, exec VP, client Solutions, NBCUniversal. "It's no surprise that we are seeing new partners in new categories, and we are excited for Benefit Cosmetics to join us as we take a giant bite out of the viewer pie."
While the first installment of the gloriously inane "Sharknado" juggernaut averaged just 1.37 million viewers and a 0.4 rating among adults 18-49, the second movie ("Sharknado 2: The Other One") blew its predecessor out of the water, scaring up 3.9 million viewers and a 1.3 in the dollar demo. The sequel also generated some 1 billion Twitter impressions.
Per iSpot.tv estimates, the "Sharknado 2" premiere raked in $190,770 in sponsor bucks, attracting business from the likes of Dell, Jack in the Box, Corona, Hanes and Geico. Benefit is the first cosmetics line to clamber aboard the S.S. Sharknado.
"We are thrilled to be Sharknado's first-ever beauty brand partner," said Nicole Frusci, VP-brand marketing, Benefit Cosmetics. "It was a no-brainer for Benefit to join, as we strive to be fun and disruptive wherever possible."
"Sharknado 3" stars returning cast members Ms. Reid and Ian Ziering, and newcomers David Hasselhoff and Bo Derek. The list of notables making cameo appearances in the movie is like cognitive dissonance writ large; how else does one explain "Malcolm in the Middle" alum Frankie Muniz rubbing elbows with disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner and "Incredible Hulk" star Lou Ferrigno?
"Sharknado 3" blows into port on Wednesday, July 22 at 9 p.m.