From well-known pieces of music to celebrity brand ambassadorship to recalling an iconic movie scene, brand possibilities in entertainment are endless. However, brands often neglect the initial massive marketing campaigns that shepherd our favourite entertainment to the big screen.  With big budgets and even bigger consumer splashes, promotional partnerships can yield big picture dividends for brands. 

What are Promotional Partnerships?

Promotional partnerships are partnerships brokered between movie studios and brands by leveraging collective resources to raise mass awareness for both movie and brand products.  A brand supports a movie release by lending a portion of their media buy to the marketing campaign of the movie.  The studio in turn includes the brand’s logo or product in the movie’s massive marketing campaigns, cast promotion tours, press junkets, and media buys in global markets.  These campaigns sometimes cost more than the movie production itself, generating billions of earned and paid media impressions throughout the campaign flight.

The initial result is mass awareness for any brand that supports a major movie release.  However, a movie partnership also allows for brands to align their brand attributes with those of recognizable movie talents and characters. By associating their products with a popular piece of entertainment, a brand creates emotional connections with potential fans of whatever franchise they are supporting. Partnering with movies that people love help brands engage with their customers and create organic consumer conversation in novel and unexpected ways. Pop culturally relevant brands remain top of mind and a step ahead of their competition.

Examples of Promotional Partnerships

There are several ways a brand can take part in a movie promotional partnership. Partnering with a movie where there is a natural connection is integral to the success of a partnership.  Customers are more likely to relate to brands that produce messaging that fits within the story or frame of the entertainment they are partnering with. 

A brand could opt for an on-pack promotion or a limited edition of their product, utilising visual elements from the movie – coupled with a TV spot to advertise their partnership. A great example is Baskin Robbin’s partnership with Marvel’s release of Captain America.  In the campaign, Greenlight secured the rights to create custom co-branded TV, radio, OOH, and banner advertisements.  Baskin Robbins also featured limited time products themed around the film, including a Super-Solider flavour, a Hydra Force Sunday, and Captain America Ice-cream cakes.  The cherry on top was a sweepstakes that coincided with a massive PR push when the film premiered. 

Brands that plan and complete 360-degree campaigns across various media/platforms will receive the best results and highest ROI. These campaigns require cutting a deal months ahead but allow a studio to work flexibly with the brand to propose creative solutions.  With Greenlight’s help, Heineken developed the ‘crack the case’ promotional campaign, a 360-degree cross-promotion with the James Bond film Skyfall.  This included Bond theme advertisements across TV and digital mediums, a short interactive film, experiential activations across several markets, and 4 integrations into the film itself.  Heineken became James Bond’s defacto beer of choice, earning the brand billions of paid and earned impressions through the massive release.


Promotional partnerships offer brands an innovative way to reach consumers via the most memorable moments in pop culture.  Bringing iconic IP into your marketing makes your brand memorable, putting the IP on pack makes your products stand out, and aligning with a major film release provides brands massive earned media exposure.

The brands that do it best plan ahead to remain in synch with major motion picture releases and remain open to the myriad of creative possibilities of an entertainment promotional partnership.  With promotional partnerships, the next big Hollywood release could feature your brand in a starring role.