When big companies formulate a brand strategy they increasingly try to
synergize their marketing efforts.
In other words, the aim is to extend the brand into other relevant product
In recent times, cross-promotional tie-ins have become all the rage and have
proven, if indeed proof was needed, that brands have become larger than the
specific products they represent.
This trend is particularly obvious within the entertainment industry.
Brand synergy is more apparent in the world of movies.
George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise was the first to exploit the full
possibilities of brand extension.
As well as through movies, consumers have been able to interact with
the Star Wars brand in numerous other ways.
They have bought Star Wars action figures, read Star Wars novels,
played the Star Wars computer game and worn Star Wars pyjamas.
The GODZILLA move…
1998: With the release of Godzilla, Sony believed it had created a
monster movie hit.
Indeed, it is difficult to think of a movie that looked more likely to
become a blockbuster.
Sony had spent US $60 million implementing the teaser campaign.
Sony had Puff Daddy rapping its way through one of the most
expensive promo videos ever made for the Godzilla theme tune.
Furthermore, a replica of the star of the movie – a skyscraper-
high green monster – was guaranteed to make a fantastic toy.
Most significantly, owing to Sony’s newly consolidated cinema
holdings, the film was shown on more screens in its opening
weekend than any other in movie history.
On the day of its launch, one in five cinema screens were playing
All the money was spent on a slick ad campaign which resulted in bad
word of mouth publicity.
Even before the movie launched, news was spreading on the Internet
of just how terrible it was.
However, Sony was determined to get the online reviewers on side.
Sony even paid Harry Knowles, the owner of the highly influential site
AintItCoolNews, to fly out for the premiere in New York.
Movie Review by James Berardinelli
Godzilla is the ultimate culmination of the ‘who cares about plot’
The script isn’t ‘dumbed down’, it’s lobotomized.
With the possible exception of a mildly enjoyable car chase near the
end, there isn’t a sequence in this film that raises the pulse.
Even the scenes with dozens of aircraft attacking the monster are so
devoid of tension and suspense that they are yawn-provoking.
Godzilla became one of the idiotic blockbuster movies of all time.
63 fundamental flaws were out by the online discussion group i.e.
‘Godzilla can outrun helicopters but he can’t keep up with a taxicab’.
It was interesting when three years later Sony received much more
positive reviews for its summer blockbusters.
Quotes from David Manning, the reviewer from the Ridgefield Press,
were included on posters promoting the comedies A Knight’s Tale and
David Manning… exposed
In June 2001 Newsweek magazine revealed that David Manning didn’t
exist, and had been invented by an unidentified Sony marketing executive
the summer before to put a bit of positive spin on the hit-starved
Manning’s ‘reviews’ had also made their way onto posters promoting
Sony’s Hollow Man and Vertical Limit movies.
‘It was an incredibly foolish decision, and we’re horrified,’ a Sony
spokeswoman said at the time.
So… where Sony failed for Godzilla???
Everything about the movie had been big – the star, the special
effects, the marketing budget, the brand tie-ins – but it hadn’t been
The excessive amount of hype and brand extensions Sony had created
for Godzilla ended up working against it
It is true that branding is often more about perception than reality, but if
your end product is truly awful the brand perception will always be