For many video game marketing programs, choosing the right promotional product takes a little creativity. Marketing the latest action game or kids’ title may not offer some obvious choices. This wasn’t the case for video developer THQ Inc. when it came time to promote its Wall•E video game which hit shelves June 27.
The game is based on the futuristic robot character’s adventures in the Disney/Pixar movie of the same name. In the film, which debuted June 24, Wall•E went on a fantastic journey across the universe. Along the way, he often turned trash into treasure.
THQ leveraged some of the items that were prominent within the movie to reach out to members of the press. For example, Wall•E is fond of a paddleball so THQ sent 500 plastic logoed paddleballs to consumer, trade and enthusiast press.
“We ordered the paddleball after seeing Wall•E interact with a similar one in the film trailer,” says Karen Fujimoto, spokesperson for THQ. “It was too good to resist. The paddleballs were effective because they captured an element of fun, while serving as a leave-behind reminder that the game would be coming out soon.”
THQ also borrowed the idea of using an Igloo cooler from the film. Wall•E carries around a cooler throughout the film and places trinkets in it. The video game company held an event at the New York Hall of Science for dozens of members of the press and their families. As a thank you for attending, it gave away logoed coolers, hats, shirts and posters.
The gaming company is no stranger to such tactics. For Ratatouille it held a cooking event at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York and gave away logoed chef’s hats, aprons and bottles of thyme, a key spice for making the dish Ratatouille. “It’s a fun way to build some buzz with our press,” says Fujimoto.