Those marketers will be joined in the U.S. by Eastman Kodak Co., General Mills, Hershey Foods Corp. and Tropicana Dole Beverages.
The marketing plans for Steven Spielberg's sequel to his 1993 dinosaur epic will undoubtedly be the biggest marketing program in a summer season crammed with licensing- and promotion-friendly event films.
'BATMAN,' 'HERCULES' PARTNERS
Warner Bros.' $125 million effort for "Batman & Robin" boasts Apple Computer and Taco Bell, and possibly Visa USA. Walt Disney Co. has lined up General Motors Corp., McDonald's Corp. and Nestle for the animated "Hercules."
"Lost World's" late May launch date gives it an edge over the latest "Batman" film and "Hercules," both breaking in June.
"We'll have a couple weeks' jump on those other movies, and with the number of event films this summer, clutter is something everyone has to consider," said Brad Globe, head of consumer products at DreamWorks SKG, which has absorbed Mr. Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment.
Universal Studios Consumer Products Group has put together a licensee roster of about 70 marketers for the Amblin-produced film. There will be action figures and accessories, electronic games, board games, and puzzles from master toy licensee Hasbro and DreamWorks Interactive, Sega of America, Toy Biz and Tyco Toys. Varied apparel lines will come from Fruit of the Loom and Seabell Sportswear. S. Goldberg Inc. will market a line of kids shoes that leave dinosaur footprints.
A new retail development unit within Universal's merchandising division is assisting retailers in creating customized in-store displays. Proposed point-of-purchase concepts range from jungle motifs to snarling dinos.
The Universal release hopes to equal or top the $916 million box office take and $1 billion in merchandise sales for "Jurassic Park." The studio is said to want to keep the brand going via a TV series, comic book and another movie.
"It's our hope to be seen as a leader in any dinosaur-related products for customers," said Cynthia Cleveland, president-merchandising and licensing at Consumer Products Group.
Universal has already sold Burger King on a separate promotion linked to another of the studio's dinosaur properties, the animated "Land Before Time" home video series. It will run concurrently with a $40 million "Lost World" program anchored by an offer linking premiums with menu items.
Paid media makes up most of the $250 million push for "Lost World." Universal itself is planning a $30 million advertising and marketing campaign, created in-house with media handled by DDB Needham Worldwide, Los Angeles. Promos from the film's marketing partners will break before and after the film's debut.
MERCEDES PRODUCT PLACEMENT
Mercedes-Benz of North America, Timberland and JVC will leverage prominent product placement in the film with ads and retail promotions, from Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York.
Mercedes, in fact, will use "Lost World" to launch its M-Class all-activity vehicle. Hershey is planning its biggest multibrand marketing promotion ever, (see story above).
At Tropicana, the "Lost World" tie-in "is a huge opportunity for us," said Steve Bellech, director of marketing for its Pure Premium brands.
The promotion represents the first time Tropicana, a sister unit of Universal under Seagram Co., has tied in with a major feature release; the company's efforts in the past have been confined to home video releases.
Tropicana's push will focus on its Pure Premium large or "dino"- size packages with an on-pack offer giving away movie merchandise, as well as targeted TV advertising via Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, tying in with its current "Perfect" ad theme.
'SURPRISE' FROM TROPICANA
While declining specifics, Mr. Bellech said consumers opening Tropicana Pure Premium cartons after the film's Memorial Day opening will find "a very interesting surprise."
General Mills is mixing Big G and Betty Crocker brands for an estimated $10 million integrated marketing push. Kodak's plan would support various products at point of purchase and a cross-promotion with licensee Topps for "Lost World" trading cards. Kodak will also market "Lost World" photo albums and stationery.
Despite the planned marketing flood, studio executives said they turned away other potential promotional partners because they feared clutter.
"The more partners you bring on board, you risk diminishing returns not only for the promo partners but for the picture," said Anne Giangardella, head of strategic alliances and promotions at DreamWorks.