DreamWorks Animation will feature its upcoming movie "Kung Fu Panda 3" in Super Bowl 50, but it didn't actually fork over the approximately $5 million that 30 seconds of ad time in the game costs marketers.
Instead, the movie studio partnered with Wix.com, a web development platform, to create a commercial that will ultimately promote both brands, with Wix responsible for paying for the commercial time.
Wix said last month that it was foregoing the traditional client-agency route to work directly with DreamWorks to develop and produce the spot as well as other elements in the campaign. Wix isn't paying DreamWorks for the service, with a company spokesman saying it is a "pure collaboration."
A DreamWorks spokesman declined to comment on the financial terms of the partnership.
The result of the partnership is the #StartStunning campaign, which features "Kung Fu Panda 3" characters as they seek to boost publicity for Mr. Ping's Noodles, the restaurant featured in the movie.
In the spot, they will "embark on a series of 'out of the box' marketing activities, but quickly realize the key to success is to simply #StartStunning with a Wix website," a spokesman for Wix said via email.
"The Super Bowl is a huge stage, and all brands play offense to score big and win viewers' attention," said Wix CMO Omer Shai. "Collaborating with a creative partner like DreamWorks Animation enabled us to develop a fun and effective campaign that will give us an edge come Super Bowl Sunday. Even if you're not a Dragon Warrior, with Wix you can effectively use the web to grow your business or brand. And that all starts with a stunning website."
Creative for the spot will begin rolling out on Wednesday with a video clip featuring Po from "Kung Fu Panda" as he takes on an extreme promotional stunt.
Wix will continue introducing creative from the campaign on a dedicated Super Bowl hub. Aside from the actual Super Bowl commercial, the campaign will include other made-for-web content and social media activations.
"Kung Fu Panda 3" will hit theaters on Jan. 29, just over a week before Super Bowl 50 will air on CBS.
This is Wix's second Super Bowl spot. Last year the company made its debut with the "#ItsThatEasy" campaign. The spot starred five former NFL stars trying their hands at new (fake) businesses to keep busy following their retirement from football.