Starting at 8am on May 18th, Walmart stores will begin selling special tickets to advance screenings of Man of Steel, in both 2D and 3D. The screenings take place at 7pm on June 13th in select theaters nationwide. The tickets will also allow you to pre-order Blu-ray combo packs of Man of Steel, and you’ll get an exclusive digital comic written by Man of Steel‘s screenwriter, David Goyer.
The studio teaming with a retail outlet for exclusive access to advance screenings is absolutely a big event in modern film marketing. We don’t think anything like this has ever been attempted before, but you can bet that if it’s a success then you’ll see a lot more of this kind of exclusive promo of content and special screenings for other films as well. There are exclusive apps that let you put your face alongside Superman in digital photos, in-store promotional materials that allow point-and-click access via your mobile devices, and of course plenty of regular retail in-store merchandise for the film.
You can see all of the details by going to the official Walmart page for this exclusive event.
I remember back in 1989, during the build-up to the very first serious big-screen Batman film. Batmania swept the country, and you couldn’t go into any store without seeing the bat emblem everywhere, merchandising galore, and it was certainly a promotional blitz unlike anything I’d seen since Star Wars.
It looks like Warner is attempting something similar again with Superman this time around, as they no doubt know that they have to make sure this film is a big success — the future of the franchise depends on it .After the previous attempt misfired and failed to launch a revival of the revamp, the studio recognized that the Superman brand needed to be revitalized for modern audiences, and that’s clearly what they’re attempting to do with Man of Steel. Warner Bros. obviously realizes the mistakes made with the promo of Green Lantern, and so are going max out to the promotion of this newest Superman movie. While I don’t think the mania will rise to the level Batman and Star Wars enjoyed, the push is clearly going to be huge.
The marketing team has definitely come up with a great idea in this team-up with Walmart — if you want to send audiences rushing to get advance tickets, there’s probably no better partner to have in the endeavor than Walmart, the biggest retail chain in the world. And merging the branding and merchandising with advance screening opportunities is a fantastic ploy, it’s different and bold and will catch everyone’s attention.
A particularly powerful part of this promo is that Warner Bros. will have Walmart doing a giant marketing campaign alongside the film’s promotional efforts, and Walmart has vast reach with not only their advertising but also in-store advance promotions. With a Walmart in practically every city and town, and with so many people shopping their regularly, that means Walmart is putting Man of Steel in front of everybody’s eyes day after day. The value of that kind of placement and marketing assist is hard to imagine.
Mainstream awareness of Man of Steel was already bound to be high. Now, awareness of not only the product but of the need to see it is going to likewise rise considerably. Warner’s marketing strategy is turning Man of Steel into the must-see movie of 2013, and those early screenings — if the film is as good as everyone’s already expecting it to be — will send thousands of ordinary people out to tell their family and friends how good the movie is, acting as free advertising building the momentum going into opening weekend.
It’s great to see Warner Bros. finding a new approach to marketing their superhero properties, and setting a new standard for branding and promotions. This should help the 3D numbers for the film as well, I suspect, which will boost the box office totals for the film’s opening.
Will you be lining up on May 18th to grab some of these advance tickets and exclusive offers, dear readers? Sound off in the comments below! And you can search for which stores in your area have tickets and which theaters the tickets are for HERE.