Zoe Jones, marketing director at Digital Cinema Media, takes a look at some of the big screen opportunities for brands in the upcoming World Cup and the summer film season.
The 2014 Premier League may have reached its thrilling conclusion, followed by Arsenal's first trophy in nine years, but there is no break from football this summer. Following the England team announcement, the hype around the 2014 FIFA World Cup will now truly start to kick in (sorry).
The opportunity for brands to stand out is limited however, with both sponsors and non-sponsors alike competing to engage with football fans all over the world.
Nike's unofficial 'Risk Everything' four minute epic has set a high standard with an impressive cast list of football stars making a guest appearance. One of the most surreal moments sees a cameo from The Incredible Hulk, a Marvel character not necessarily well-known for his silky ball skills.
However, watching it on the big screen in the cinema, he seems quite at home on the pitch and his inclusion illustrates the ambition of Wieden & Kennedy Portland in producing what is a two part mini-movie.
While there will, quite rightly, be a lot of focus on the World Cup in June and the more obvious advertising opportunities around it, the film slate this summer also has a huge amount to offer brands seeking to create engaging cinematic content.
Like football fans, film fans are active, out and about. They enjoy spending time with friends, set aside time to indulge in their passions and have the disposable income to do so.
Cinema plays to passions
Film, like football, is a genuine passion point and the cinema is the best way to indulge it. May is officially the start of summer where blockbusters are concerned.
Releasing in cinemas on 22 May is the seventh film in the lucrative X-Men universe, X-Men: Days of Future Past (3D). Original Director Bryan Singer oversees a time travel plot that brings together both Magnetos (Michael Fassbender and Sir Ian McKellen) and both Professor Xavier's (James McEvoy and Patrick Stewart) to change a major historical event.
Also releasing at the end of May (30) is A Million Ways to Die in the West, directed by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane's last movie Ted earned a massive £30.4m at the UK box office and before he gets round to Ted 2, scheduled for release in 2015, he has created this all-star comic western.
22 Jump Street opens in cinemas on 6 June following on from the critically and commercially successful 21 Jump Street. Stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return alongside Ice Cube, who was terrific as Captain Dickson. The Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller also return, so expect the high quality of the first film to continue.
Moving into the heart of the blockbuster summer season, after the England team has hopefully survived at least one penalty shootout, the Transformers take centre stage.
If you’re looking for a reason to get excited about another Transformers release, look no further than the Dinobots, who make their début in the fourth film in the series, Transformers: Age of Extinction (3D). This time around Mark Wahlberg replaces Shia Lebeouf in the lead role, which is a good swap in anyone’s book.
Apparently the Dinobots are one of the most devastatingly powerful and close-knit combat groups in the Autobot army both in robot mode and when they take alternate forms based on dinosaurs. If this piques your interest, you only have to wait until 10 July to see them in action.
The film I can't wait to see however is Marvel's latest, Guardians of the Galaxy (3D), which releases on 1 August. Bradley Cooper plays a genetically engineered raccoon called Rocket and Vin Diesel plays a tree called Groot.
Quite random, you might think, but with these two Guardians acting as part of a squad formed to defeat cosmic threats, coupled with a daring choice of director in James Gunn (indie comedy Super), this looks to be a fascinating summer prospect that crosses over between action and comedy.
The standout comedy hit of the summer however sees the return of Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley and Blake Harrison, aka The Inbetweeners. The Inbetweeners 2 follows what was one of the surprise blockbusters of the 21st century, grossing a gargantuan £45m at the UK Box Office.
This time round, the hapless foursome embarks on a gap year to Australia and the teaser trailer shows they've lost none of their unique charm.
All of these summer titles are likely to have big crossover appeal for football fans. Whether it's Fassbender's Magneto, the Dinobots or an expert marksman raccoon, there's a huge amount of diverse entertainment on offer.
Zoe Jones is marketing director at Digital Cinema Media.
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