Brands from GoPro to Turtle Wax Rev Up for 'Furious 7'

Even After Paul Walker's Death, Film Is Set for Big Box Office Release

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Brands are using the new "Fast and the Furious" film as a vehicle for their messaging.

Set to release this Friday, the film is expected to be one of the year's biggest box office draws. The franchise has grossed over $2 billion globally, and the previous installment, "Furious 6," cleared $789 million worldwide according to researcher Box Office Mojo. The death of Furious star Paul Walker is slated to draw more viewers to the film, as premature deaths during filming often do.

Vin Diesel greets a decked-out Etihad Airways Boeing 777 at Los Angeles International Airport.
Vin Diesel greets a decked-out Etihad Airways Boeing 777 at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Etihad Airways Twitter account

Dodge, GoPro and Xbox One are some of Furious 7's partners. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles supplied almost 30 vehicles for the film, including a 2015 Dodge Charger 2015, a Dodge Challenger R/T and an armored 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Sponsor Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, one of the film's many settings, debuted a Boeing 777 decked out with the Fast and the Furious logo March 18.

On Tuesday, Furious star and rapper Ludacris released his first full-length album in five years, "Ludaversal." Actor and R&B musician Tyrese Gibson also has an album coming out in July, as well as several movies including "Shame," which costars Jennifer Hudson. Also, "Furious 7" actor Jordana Brewster recently became the new face of Pond's--currently appearing in the brand's digital, social media and PR efforts--before a spring campaign launch, said Suzanne Palentchar, director of skincare brand building at Unilever.

A Turtle Wax promo will play before the film, kicking off the brand's spring campaign. Turtle Wax CMO Sandy Kolkey, who joined the company six months ago, said the company was unaware how big the "Furious 7" release was slated to be when the brand committed to the film.

"If [the film] has a huge opening that would be better for us, but it also reaches the people we're trying to reach," Mr. Kolkey said of "Furious 7," adding that the film targets an audience that's passionate about cars and technology.

Meanwhile, social media is abuzz about the Furious franchise, including speculation about the film's Paul Walker tribute and Vin Diesel's insistence that the film should be nominated for an Oscar. Filming was only partially complete when Paul Walker died in November 2013.

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