Advertising and the movie business have been complimenting each other since the dawn of time. Well, maybe not since caveman times, but we all remember McDonald’s toys of characters from The Lion King or How to Train Your Dragon, not to mention the matching drink cup and Happy Meal bag.
With Angry Birds Rio, the next evolution leaps beyond paper cups and bags featuring the characters from the movie. How about an iPhone game partnered with a newly released movie? It’s real and it’s happening pretty soon. According to Areyouscreening.com the popular iPhone app game from Finland, Angry Birds, will be tying in with 20th Century Fox’s upcoming animated feature film, Rio.
The original Angry Birds is an iPhone/iPod touch game where players use a slingshot to fire birds and destroy the green pigs on each level. Rio is an upcoming animated motion picture about two blue macaws who try to repopulate their dying breed. The film, featuring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, George Lopez and Jamie Foxx, is to be released in theaters Friday, April 15th, 2011. Angry Birds Rio will follow the same gameplay only this time, characters from Rio will be used. The game is to be available in March 2011.
What makes this blogworthy is how advertising for motion pictures is cannily working its way into our everyday digital lives. It’s not just action figures in burger bags anymore, the business is trying its hardest to get young people plugged in. There have been games for the iPhone and iPod touch based on movies before, i.e. The Dark Knight and Watchmen, but this is the first time a movie has a popular app game for advance promotion.
The question is not whether or not they will succeed. Rovio Mobile CEO, Mikael Hed, whose company created Angry Birds, is calling this a surefire business deal, “A match made in Heaven for a mobile application and a major motion picture.” The question is what will come out next from the motion picture advertising circus tent? Back in 2007, Cartoon Network used a form of guerilla marketing to promote their film, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, which resulted in the infamous 2007 Boston Bomb Scare.
What we’re saying is that advertising for movies isn’t what it used to be. Not so long ago, all it took was a trailer at the end of the movie and a few television commercials. With today’s highly wired and social audiences, the motion picture industry needs to up its game to enter their world. There have been video games based on movies and movies based on video games, but with an innovative surprise like the Angry Birds Rio app, who knows what’s next on the horizon?