Advertisers Head Into Orbit With 'Space Chimps'
June 16, 2008
Go ahead, kids--act
like a chimp. That's the marketing message entertainment
company Starz sends in the campaign launched with a host
of brands to promote Twentieth Century Fox's forthcoming
summer release "Space Chimps."
The interactive campaign runs June 20-July 20 and
targets kids 2 and older, along with their parents. It
embraces online, out of home, theaters, print and
television, and games both virtual and physical.
The campaign runs in several elementary schools
promoting education about chimps and their habitat. A
watermark for the movie appears on the lunch menu that
kids take home and hang on their refrigerator. There
were Dole bananas in "Chimps," and the company is now
promoting the movie by sticking labels on 100 million
bananas, 4 million pineapples and 4 million salad bags
sold in grocery stores. Amtrak offers a food tray liner
with games for kids to interact with while traveling.
Robeks is developing custom drinks, promoted in their
stores during July. Other sponsors include Carl's Jr.
For Palisades Media, the creative force behind Starz's
advertising blitz, Reactrix Systems' STEPscape--which
lets people interact with brands through a projected
image on the floor in malls and theaters--became the
perfect marketing tool for a movie that encourages kids
to "become like chimps," says Pete Dorhout Mees, vice
president creative services/marketing for Starz.
Adds Mercedes Tondre, executive vice president at
Palisades Media, a Santa Monica media-buying service:
"It's the perfect tool during summer months, when it's
difficult to reach kids on television." She did not
reveal the marketing budget for the movie, but says
"it's not unusual to see online creative budgets for
movies between $500,000 and $1.5 million."
The Reactrix media buy runs in 154 malls and 30
theaters, including the Metreon in San Francisco. It
shows free-spirited Ham, the irreverent chimp in the
movie who escapes chaos by the seat of his pants, flying
through the air with a rocket-pack on his back. The
other two main characters--Luna and Titan--join him,
along with supporting characters Comet and Houston. Kids
jump on project images and interact with the characters,
becoming familiar with the characters' personalities.
Palisades Media also created a chimp language translator
found at www.spacechimpsfilm.com that lets kids create
messages in chimp-an-eez and send them from the site to
cellular phones. Downloadable printable masks allow kids
to become the characters. Video games and out-of-home
marketing bring the chimps to life.
In mid-July, Starz will release video games for
Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii
and DS that follow the story's moral: Ham realizes the
world doesn't revolve around him and grows into a better
The campaign also has a humanitarian message. An ad,
along with trading cards, that ran in the May issue of
National Geographic Kids is intended to familiarize
today's youth with monkeys and chimpanzees. Starz also
has begun to put together a program to make people aware
of ongoing philanthropic work to save chimps from harm.
Web ads will run on AOL, Yahoo, Nickelodeon, Cartoon
Network, Wild Tangent, Addicting Games, KidzBop,
Discovery, Family Education Network, National
Geographic, and Miniclip, among others. Search engine
marketing terms on Google and Yahoo include general and
brand movie terms, cast members and animation
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