Several big brands attempted to ride the coattails of Iron Man 2’s box-office success, with sponsors spending an estimated $100 million all told to reach the film’s huge audience, according to YouGov. Not all of those brands, however, scored positive buzz.
Among the heroic performers: Burger King, which introduced movie-themed toys and even named a new sandwich (the “Whiplash Whopper”) after the film’s villain, and Dr Pepper, which stood out among soft drink marketers with Iron Man connections.
The Brandweek Buzz Report by YouGov is a weekly consumer perception report that analyzes the most talked about brands based on buzz: The scores are based on weighing positive and negative perceptions of a brand. A +100 score is positive, a -100 score is negative, and a rating of zero means that the score is neutral.
YouGov interviews 5,000 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of 1.5 million individuals.
Here, the researcher looks at five brands with major Iron Man tie-ins…
From Batman to James Bond, the hero’s set of wheels is highly coveted and iconic. Audi got Iron Man fans hooked with a month-long marketing blitz, and in the movie itself. Audi models were prominently featured, including the main character Tony Stark’s personal R8 Spyder, the A8, Q5 and Q7 SUVs, and A3 hatchback. Audi was the big brand tie-in winner, as its buzz score with men over 18 leapt from 17.3 on May 3 to its current score of 30.7.
2. Burger King
Burger King introduced eight movie-themed toys for its kids meals and even named a new sandwich after the movie’s villain — the “Whiplash Whopper.” At the Iron Man 2 premiere, “The King” showed up in an Iron Man costume, so it’s no surprise that Stark’s noticeable stomach cravings were solved by grabbing BK. As the campaign ramped up, so did the fast feeder’s buzz score, which doubled from 13.3 on April 30 to 26.2 on May 10.
3. Dr Pepper
Dr Pepper stood out among soft drink makers when it comes to Iron Man 2 tie-ins. The brand debuted collectible cans with images of the movie’s characters, it partnered with 7-Eleven to create an orange-flavored Slurpee, and ran a TV ad featuring Iron Man creator Stan Lee. In the film, a can of Dr Pepper was displayed on a table in Tony Stark’s house and on a building banner. Dr Pepper’s payoff was a substantial lift from a buzz score of 17.5 on April 27 to the present score of 27.6.
4. LG Electronics
LG Electronics Mobilecomm’s multi-platform campaign for LG Ally, the company’s upcoming Android-based smartphone, didn’t quite get off the ground like the man of iron himself. The company released a TV ad, gave away bonus gifts to Ally buyers — including special editions of Iron Man comics with links to augmented reality experiences — and offered Iron Man 2-themed products at Best Buy. In the movie, LG is Stark’s smartphone brand of choice. Perhaps due to Ally not being available at the time of the movie’s release, LG’s buzz score fell from 24.9 on May 4 to 18 on May 10.
Symantec, the maker of Norton AntiVirus, couldn’t prevent its buzz score from slipping into negative territory. In hopes of “fighting online evil,” Symantec rolled out a special bundle promotion, featuring its products and either a copy of the first Iron Man DVD or two tickets to the new film. Efforts also included a sweepstakes and an online game. Symantec’s buzz score, which barely made it to positive territory of 3.2 at the end of April, is currently zero.