As Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 2 soared into the record books over the weekend, it lifted sales prospects for Plano-based Dr Pepper.
The maker of the nation’s oldest major soda is one of about a dozen companies, including Burger King and Dallas-based 7-Eleven, hoping to turn iron into gold. All have launched promotions tied to the second installment in the Tony Stark saga, which ended the weekend with an estimated $133.6 million in North American ticket sales.
That would make it the fifth-biggest opening weekend of all time, according to Hollywood.com.
Dr Pepper Snapple Group, the maker of Dr Pepper, launched a major marketing campaign tied to the movie, including the placement of the soft drink in the movie, offering collectible cans with images of the movie characters and the creation of an orange-flavored Slurpee for 7-Eleven.
The marketing program – the company’s only movie-based promotion this year – includes a national TV commercial featuring a cameo of Stan Lee, the celebrated comic book creator.
Dr Pepper did not disclose weekend sales figures.
But “it’s one of the biggest movie partnerships we’ve ever done,” said spokesman Greg Artkop. “If the box office performance of Iron Man 2 is reflected in Dr Pepper sales, we’ll be very happy.”
At Kroger stores, “the Dr Pepper Iron Man promotion is doing very well [and] sales are ahead of our projections and ahead of last year,” said spokesman Gary Huddleston, who also declined to give specific numbers. “We expect the trend to continue, especially as we enter the summer selling season.”
Dr Pepper gets about $455,000 in “broadcast exposure” from its cameos in the film, once with Gwyneth Paltrow’s character and once on a billboard, said Eric Smallwood, vice president of Front Row Analytics, which evaluates marketing promotions.
“I think it will be noticeable,” Smallwood said of the potential sales boost. “Having the product in the movie ties it with … the characters. It will definitely pay off.”