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Coors, Amazon, Verizon ride with ‘Prometheus’

Brands mount tie-ins to promote Fox's Ridley Scott sci-fi pic

Coors Light is raising a pint to “Prometheus.”

The beer brand will launch its first film campaign in six years around Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic, including a co-branded TV spot and online ads produced with the helmer’s ad shop RSA.

Marketers typically stay away from backing R-rated films, looking to reach broader auds with their promotional dollars.

Prometheus” has proved the rare exception, however, attracting retail giant Amazon and Verizon’s FiOS, as well, to launch unique campaigns around the film that 20th Century Fox releases June 8.

The companies are ponying up around $10 million on media buys, with their campaigns said to be worth as much as $30 million.

“The partners get us into places where we can’t buy our way into through media,” said Zachary Eller, senior VP of marketing partnerships and promotions at 20th Century Fox. “They help make this movie an event. They help tell audiences this is something exciting that you need to see.”

None of the brands appear in the film, which takes place in 2093.

But Fox already has been working with the partners to integrate them in other exclusive content, including a two-minute informercial featuring Michael Fassbender in character as the android David, that Verizon sponsored — the first time Fox put a company’s logo on something that wasn’t its own product. On Wednesday, it released another viral ad starring Noomi Rapace, also in character.

Verizon also created a VOD channel on its FiOS network dedicated to showing exclusive “Prometheus” content, while the company is promoting the pic across its network of TV and online channels, Facebook and Mashable pages. A microsite enables visitors to explore the Prometheus spaceship in the film using Verizon’s mobile Home Monitoring and Control technology.

Meanwhile, Amazon will push the pic across all of its websites, including its homepage and IMDB, through June 18. Company’s microsite for the film pushes interested moviegoers to buy tix through Fandango.

It’s also adding inserts in millions of boxes it ships to customers, marking the first time Amazon has allowed such marketing by an outside company.

“Prometheus” isn’t Amazon’s first film promo, but it is typically reticent to pair up with a product it can’t sell. It promoted the novel “Like Water for Elephants” when the pic was released, for example.

Because of its involvement now, however, Amazon is expected to launch a larger effort around “Prometheus” when its homevid is released.

Coors Light will focus on U.S. consumers with its tie-in, given that its new “Silver Bullet Aluminum Pint” bottle is launching Stateside first.

The nation’s second-largest beermaker, with nearly 30% of sales in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, has been careful not to promote drinking to underage auds, hence its decision to stay away from the multiplex.

Instead, it’s pursued product placement deals, landing its beer brands in TV shows — with Coors Light appearing in “Ice Road Truckers,” Miller Light in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Sons of Anarchy,” and Miller64 in “Burn Notice.”

In 2002, Coors inked a seven-year deal with Miramax Films that ended four years earlier than expected after a new chief marketing officer canceled the pact. At the time, the deal gave the Denver-based beer brand the chance to place its products in a slate of Miramax and Dimension films and sponsor its premieres. Company focused on the “Scary Movie” franchise.

“We’ve been doing product placement for many years,” said Jackie Woodward, VP media and marketing services at MillerCoors. “Films are an important cultural touchpoint for our consumers. When we see an opportunity to bring our product to life, we jump all over it.”

Having a product to promote also helps.

“Partnering with a visionary such as Ridley Scott presents a special opportunity for Coors Light to drive consumer and retailer enthusiasm for our new Silver Bullet Pint,” said Dan Hennessy, senior director of marketing for the Coors Family of Brands.

” ‘Prometheus’ is the first time in awhile that we had an opportunity to bring a film together with an innovative package launch,” Woodward said.

And the R-rating helped attract the company, as well, considering the company is targeting a 21-34-year-old drinker.

“The fact that it’s rated R brings us confidence that the vast majority of its audiences is over 21,” Woodward said.

Ironically, MillerCoors already had embraced a space theme to launch the new bottle through two spots that turn the pint into a space shuttle.

In its 30-second “Prometheus” TV spot, set to air during NBA games and male-skewwing cable channels, the pint prominently features the new bottle with footage from the film. Spot, which bows May 21, will also stream on Coors Light’s Facebook page and promoted on its Twitter feed, where other “Prometheus” content will be made available.

Scott unveiled the spot at the Coors Distributor Convention in Las Vegas in March.

Separately, Coors Light also will screen the film in 35 markets across the United States and Canada.

“Ridley and I had a fantastic time collaborating with Coors Light and its agency team on this creative,” said RSA USA president Jules Daly. “It was great to see how they completely embraced the film’s imagery and themes to create a truly integrated campaign.”

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