Tom Cruise’s latest mission is to help TCL expand its reach into the U.S. TV market.
Success won’t be measured in how ably Cruise’s alter ego, Ethan Hunt, scales tall buildings or clings to the outside of a plane during takeoff.
It’s a far gentler endeavor, emerging through a marketing partnership between the Chinese electronics company and Paramount Pictures and tied to the July 31 theatrical release of “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.”
As part of the effort, TCL will package digital copies of the movie with the purchase of one of its TCL Roku televisions when “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” is released on home entertainment platforms later this year.
In advance of that, the pair are teaming up on digital, print, television and outdoor promotional materials. The company will host a pre-screening event at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on July 28. TCL bought the naming rights for what was formerly called the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre for $5 million in 2013 as part of an effort to raise its profile in Hollywood.
TCL has shouldered into the domestic home electronics market, rising from selling roughly 100,000 sets two years ago to approximately one million this year. It is fifth in market share among television manufacturers.
“We want to grow both our brands,” Chris Larson, vice president of sales and marketing for TCL, said of the Paramount partnership. “The film is fun and engaging without being heavy, and that’s how we see ourselves. We don’t want people to think too hard about how we deliver their entertainment. We just want them to be able to consume it in the best possible way.”
Paramount previously worked with TCL on its “Transformers” films, so the companies had a prior relationship. Studio executives view “Mission: Impossible” as one of their preeminent film franchises, and say they are judicious in how many corporate tie-ins they use. It is also working with the likes of BMW and Glu Mobile.
“It’s a prestige franchise for us, and we, from the filmmaking team to the talent involved, don’t seek out a big logo parade of partners,” said LeeAnne Stables, president of worldwide marketing partnerships & licensing at Paramount. “We like to work with a short list and do quality, creative work.”