Dream deal

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General Mills and DreamWorks SKG have signed a worldwide promotional partnership agreement that will include the development of advertising, retail programs and new products for a variety of General Mills categories around a series of the studio's animated theatrical releases and home videos.

The deal represents an important step for both entities in creating broader partnerships. Though General Mills has tied in with many of the major movie studios over the years, including most recently Fox Filmed Entertainment for "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones," the multi-category, multi-picture deal with DreamWorks "is on a much larger scale," said Ann Carr, director of General Mills' Promotion Marketing Group. The deal will include, among other brands, Big G cereals, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury Co. products.

Ms. Carr cited the company's vastly increased brand portfolio following the acquisition of Pillsbury as the reason for the strategy shift. "General Mills more than ever is in a position to leverage our scale in every facet of marketing," she said.

For DreamWorks, still relatively new compared with many of its counterparts, the partnership is only the second major multi-picture deal it has forged with a consumer marketer. (Previously, Burger King Corp. committed to a five-picture deal that began with the recently released "Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron.")

DreamWorks made the deal with General Mills because it feels the timing is right: It's had recent major movie success, and has high hopes for a coming slate of family movies.

`"Shrek' put us over the top," said Brad Globe, head of DreamWorks Consumer Products. "Obviously, there is nothing like a track record."

The deal will include, among other movies, "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas" in July 2003 and "Shrek II" in May 2004.

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