GM’s cars have been an integral part of both Transformers films, with both movies featuring custom Chevy autobots. With the first film, Chevy spent tens of millions integrating its products and marketing the movie and the cars that appeared therein, many of which were for sale. This time around, though, the ailing automaker is unlikely to help market Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, AdAge reports.
Sure GM’s cars will still be in the movie, but unlike the “Bumblebee” Camaro from the first film, none of the other autobots will be for sale, at least not for the next couple of years—presuming GM makes it that long. Also, GM is apparently reluctant to use its government money to advertise a movie, believing it would be a move on par with banks using their bailout cash for rock concerts and sports deals.
If GM pulls out, Paramount might have to spend $30-50 million extra, the amount usually covered by brand partners like GM, to market its Transformers sequel. It’s a good thing Paramount co-financed the film, by shoe-horning Transformers 2 into its otherwise completed Wall Street film-financing deal with Dresdner Kleinwort. But it seems unlikely that the studio anticipated that GM wouldn’t help with marketing and may not have factored the additional P&A costs into its budget.
Still, GM may end up benefitting from the tie-in, after all. Making its cars part of a hip summer blockbuster is good for the automaker’s image. AdAge explains:
[Former MGM promotions exec Karen] Sortito, who integrated BMW’s Z3 roadster into the 1996 MGM James Bond film “GoldenEye,” said while that was a success, BMW was reluctant to integrate its 7 series cars into subsequent “Bond” films because it was not a launching a new model. But when pushed, she said, BMW refused to leave the franchise. The reason: “Building your image sometimes makes more sense, even if it wasn’t going to move the needle on your car business,” Ms. Sortito said.