Minions: The Rise of Gru marketing campaign includes live activations

When Universal opted to stick with a theatrical release for “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” the new chapter in Chris Meledandri’s hit animated saga, it went a few extra miles to orchestrate one of its largest and most interactive marketing campaigns for an animated film. nowadays.

The multi-pronged operation, led by Universal’s head of international marketing, Julien Noble, along with his head office team and all of the territories’ marketing groups, covered live events and activations in all 12 major markets. from the studio. Giant Minions squishies have been placed in spontaneous locations and hand painted by local artists around the world.

Judging by early box office receipts, the studio’s strategy is paying off. Released on July 1 in the United States, “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” directed by Kyle Balda, broke national soundtrack records for the biggest opening ever over the July 4 weekend. The film has already grossed over $248 million worldwide. One of Universal’s crown jewels, the “Despicable Me” franchise – of which “Minions: The Rise of Gru” is a part – has already surpassed the $4 billion mark at the global box office.

The high-profile campaign not only appealed to older audiences, but also transformed the “Minions” into an iconic pop culture brand. To expand the film’s core Gen Z audience, Universal has teamed up with high-profile partners such as France’s Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) football team and Australian music group The Wiggles.

“Releasing films in theaters is trickier than ever due to the pandemic and audiences being bombarded with content, so we’ve really pushed the envelope creatively, even as we’ve stayed true to the DNA of the brand,” said Noble, who recently joined Universal from Warner Bros.

While marketing tools have changed, budgets are much the same as before, Noble said.

“Before COVID-19, we would start international marketing six to eight weeks before the movie opened, and now we start later, like two to three weeks before the movie opened, and raise it to keep people interested. people. to the exit,” Noble continued.

In France, where the film had its world premiere at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the Minions appeared in a 26-metre high library (Bibliothèque nationale de France) and a Paris metro station was personalized with the Minions as part of Fête de la Musique, the annual music festival that marks the first day of summer on June 21st.

Thanks to its agreement with the PSG football team, Universal has released three humorous videos featuring key players such as Neymar Jr interacting with the Minions. “These unique videos will be launched across all PSG networks, reaching over five million followers,” Noble said.

The executive said all marketing content was created in partnership with Illumination.

In the UK, Universal has created custom Jubilee-centric events, featuring Minions celebrating Queen Elizabeth II.

The UK team also opened a Despicable Discs store in London’s Soho on June 18, a few weeks before the film opens. The pop-up shop sells vintage disco records to pay homage to the psychedelic 1970s setting of “The Rise of Gru.” The store also offers “hidden rooms, DJ sets and plenty of Instagram opportunities,” Noble said.

In Italy, the film debuted locally at the Taormina Film Festival with a special introduction by Max Giusti, the Italian voice of Gru, and 3D holograms of Minions taking over the Pierball stage. In Germany, the Minions made their way into the popular Rock AM Ring Festival, and in Spain, Universal hosted live activations around the Yellow Friday celebration.

The studio also created a Jurassic Minions video mashup to play before the movie, in addition to TikTok content and Snapchat AR extensions.

The Minions craze has been on social media over the past week, with the hashtag #Gentleminions garnering over 5 million views on TikTok and young moviegoers dressed up to attend the screenings.

See more live activations in France, Japan and Mexico below:


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William L. Hart