You know your brand is a star, but have you ever wondered how to get your brand into the movies?
There are many ways to get your brand in a movie and make that positioning partnership, as well as grow your brand. Generating awareness of your brand is limited only by your imagination and budget. However, you don't need a multimillion dollar budget to make that happen.
Lainie Strouse, the president of Lower Merion Productions has developed, produced and sold “Teacher of the Year,” is executive producer of “E.A.T. with Gavin Rossdale” and the feature film, “Abby's Party.”
According to Strouse, there are a lot of ways to figure out what movie projects you should be investigating. It starts with:
- What are your goals for the brand?
- What is your brand story?
- What is the positioning of your brand? What kind of movie does it make sense to be in?
- What is your strategy? What are you trying to do to get your brand to the next level?
- What are your demographics, who is your audience and what kind of movie would influence them?
- How are you selling your product and what might help sales?
- What kind of visibility are you seeking? Do you want your product to be in the movie, supporting the movie or part of the promotion of the movie? What kind of engagement are you seeking?
You have to be creative when strategizing what opportunities you want.
A great starting point might be what can you offer the movie?
For instance, every movie needs promotion. Do you have celebrities, a cause or a very publicizable message and how can your brand help a movie get more buzz? Do you have product or make-up artists that would be available? What budget can you invest in the project? Remember, producers need you.
To be in a movie you need to be able to give it product and/or support it in any of these one or more ways. What can your brand offer to support a movie? Movie producers are always on the lookout for everything that their projects need from products to cash. And they are always seeking revenue streams to support their projects.
Providing products to be on-screen is known as entertainment marketing or product placement. Julia Roberts was caught wearing a Wallaroo unisex fedora hat called The Outback in her new movie “Ticket to Paradise,” co-starring George Clooney. Roberts’ character wears the sun-protective fedora fabulously, highlighting the importance of protecting one’s skin from dangerous UV rays.
Earlier this year, the trendiest compost bin, Bamboozle, made its appearance in Netflix's most talked about kitchen on the show “Beef.” The composting bin dabbed by The Strategist as the one “all the ‘hot, environmentally conscious’ New Yorkers have,” was recently spotted adorning the kitchen counter of the fabulous Amy Hau, better known as Ali Wong, a true aficionado of chic design.
How did that happen? The great news is that small brands can get far if they can figure out how to make what they are offering attractive and to be at the right place at the right time. Producers are going to manufacturers. How can you get them to come to you or better yet, how can you get to them and create opportunities?
You may consider meeting producers by getting involved with or going to:
- Sundance in Park City, Utah and/or getting involved in many of their events.
- Film festivals around the country.
- Reading the trade publications of the industry such as Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
- Becoming familiar with IMDb, the internet movie database.
- Seek opportunities with relevant makeup and hairstylist guilds.
- Go to film schools and see what opportunities they may offer or that you can suggest.
- Contact independent film production companies.
If you want to pay a fee you could also consider contacting product placement companies such as International Promotions, BenLabs, etc.
Kia Kiso, award-winning independent producer and president of Zaza Productions has more than 60 producing credits on a wide range of projects including commercials, music videos, TV pilots, series, award shows, short films and social issue documentaries. Her producing awards and accolades include multiple nominations and wins for feature documentary “Mile… Mile & A Half,” a music video for Keb’ Mo’s “America the Beautiful,” and a “Recommend by Oprah” designation for her feature documentary, “Spiritual Liberation.”
“Filmmakers are eager to find good, mutually beneficial deals,” Kiso encourages. “However, the commission and fees of product placement companies sometimes make the relationship more trouble than it is worth. So, at the very least, brands should post on their website how they can be contacted for opportunities. Yet often we do not have the time or bandwidth to do deep-dive research and cold calls to marketing departments ourselves. So, when like-minded brands reach out to us, we are in heaven. We become eager to find a way to make it work. Within reason, of course. Ultimately, our job is to protect the creative vision of the project, so be judicious with your offer. Be creative and flexible because there are many ways to structure the relationship so everyone’s goals are met.”
Strouse suggests if you are seeking alignment for your beauty brand you can:
- Get your products visible in the movie.
- Help out with makeup, etc. on the set.
- Be in gift bags.
- Do touch ups at parties.
Kiso says, “While producing several of my documentaries, I have seen success with brands who understood what we were up to, had the same audience/customer, and were creative in the ways we could partner up. In addition to social media pushes, one retail brand offered up stores and parking lots for crowdfunding event spaces. Another provided their product to be used in the film and for our community giveaways. Our popular, award-winning film became synonymous with their products.”
Strouse adds, "There is a magic that happens when you start this process. It can be lightning in a bottle. It is all about creating a win-win then running with it."
Want to Learn More? Attend the “We Make Movies” Workshop
- 9:30 p.m. EST, Wednesday, July 19, 2023
- 60-minute panel
The Jewish Filmmakers Network is hosting We Make Movies, a workshop about how you can raise corporate funding for your film. The 60-minute panel features Lainie Strouse, Kia Kiso and Nancy Trent.
The following will be discussed:
- How to identify target companies
- How to make your film appealing to sponsors
- What timing and cost considerations must you know
- How to approach companies and organizations
- How to close the deal
- How to understand expectations and manage the relationship