Career bee keepers continue to bemoan the alarming disappearance of European honey bees, but DreamWorks Animation has made every effort to fill the void with its marketing campaign for Bee Movie, due in theaters Nov. 2
The promotional swarm, which began at the Cannes Film Festival in May, includes all of the now-expected movie-marketing elements: a Web site with downloadable icons and games; a MySpace page, on which Bee Movie's BFFs can add its litigious little stinger, Barry B. Benson (Jerry Seinfeld), to their Top 8; a tie-in with Brach's "made with real honey” candy corn.
But Bee Movie bombardment doesn't stop there. Oprah – also one of the film's stars -- dedicated an entire program last week to Bee Movie, showing clips and chatting with co-stars, all the while wearing a bee-antenna tiara. Seinfeld appeared on the Oct. 4 season premiere of NBC's 30 Rock to plug his CG tribute to bee-dom, and now NBC is running a series of 20 “Bee Movie TV Juniors,” 90-second “behind the scenes” mini-documentaries featuring the movie's cast. (They're also online – perfect for spreading virally! – on NBC's Web site.) While these “TV Juniors” have received mixed reactions from viewers, their high-profile placement has provided amazing exposure -- and gets Seinfeld back on NBC.
Even further-reaching is McDonald's global Bee Movie Happy Meal promotion, launched this week. Of course kids will get an exclusive Bee Movie toy with their Chicken McNuggets, and the meal's Apple Dippers come branded and Barry B. Benson-approved. (The “Dippers” offering is still caramel, though, not honey.) But McDonald's is also promoting the movie via its online community, where a partnership with nonprofit Conservation International encourages kids to take a "Bee Good to the Planet" eco-pledge to protect the environment.
And when they come back in? Bee Movie will be there, as well. Plop the tykes in front of the movie-inspired music video "We Got The Bee!" and let them sing along with its stars -- and 100 kids, all done up like that girl from the Blind Melon video.