LOS ANGELES: DreamWorks Animation and the National Honey Board (NHB) have partnered for the most literal of buzz-building campaigns: to generate excitement around the studio's upcoming Bee Movie, and boost consumers' awareness of honey.
"Our focus is really on education and good nutrition," said Bruce Wolk, marketing director at the Firestone, CO-based trade association. "DreamWorks needed help in terms of positive messages, [and] the core messages of <em>Bee Movie</em> are really in sync with our messaging: Honey is a natural product, it's precious... Those messages ring true in the movie."
The animated film stars Jerry Seinfeld as Barry B. Benson, a honey-bee who graduates college and leaves the hive to answer his true calling: suing the human race for stealing honey.
To correspond with the film's release - slated for November 2 - the NHB has launched a microsite featuring "special Barry Bee-approved" information. It also links to the movie Web site.
In addition, NHB and DreamWorks teamed with Scholastic Magazine to create an educational supplement and teaching guide, for elementary school classrooms. It covers topics including bees' impact on the environment, the honey production process, and other "real bee" facts, Wolk said.
The partnership also provided "an organic opportunity to get great exposure for the film" from a grassroots level, said Susan Spencer, head of national promotions for DreamWorks Animation consumer products.
The NHB assisted DreamWorks in reaching out to all members of the national honey industry, she said, adding that it allowed the studio to extend its launch-coinciding grocery-placement promotions to more "grassroots channels," such as farmers markets.
The NHB supplied everything from research and recipes to bee facts and honey trivia - all valuable for boosting interest among the media and moviegoers, and promoting honey sales and education.
Though honey can rarely be cross-promoted with films, Wolk said this is the second time the group has seen the commodity cast in a starring role: The NHB provided research and technical assistance on 1997's Ulee's Gold.
"But this is our first foray into animated features," Wolk said.