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Scenario  Licensed Promotion - Spider man movie is releasing in December 2018,  Tesco has to promote the film by selling its products. Please consider what products you will link to the movie tie-in and consider how you will promote this. Update your marketing plan with a detailed plan for the promotional campaign bearing in mind it is the beginning of December 2018 now and the films will be released in time for Christmas 2018.

For element 010, the individual report should address the following:

With reference to one of the real-life scenarios used in your simulation, critically evaluate the marketing strategies and tactics that were available to your supermarket (TESCO) and justify the approach that you took using your audit data, examples, wider reading, and other evidence. 

Overview of the promotion and the tie-in with Spider Man movie

The new SpiderMan movie, ‘Spiderman- Into the Spider verse’ will release around Christmas, It is an animated 3D feature film produced by Marvel-Sony Pictures. (Marvel - Sony Pictures 2017) Spiderman is an action hero that has been popular for decades. (Elias 2018)The licensing rights for all the properties of the Spiderman franchise lie with Marvel. Tesco has contracted a licensing merchandise tie-in wherein Tesco will promote the new movie by sales of its merchandise while Marvel will promote Tesco in some of its promotional campaigns and also, offer greater margins on its merchandise. It is hoped that adding Spiderman to its product assortment will help generate positive sentiments within the customers. (S.Terblanche 2018) .

This is expected to be a win-win situation for both Tesco as well as the Spiderman movie franchise, as it will help provide an emotional contact and experience. The landscape for consumer retail is changing rapidly in UK (Hodson, Perrigo and Hardman 2017) and Tesco must find ways to keep consumer engaged.

The licensing tie-in will be a limited period partnership, only meant to be a promotional campaign that runs from December 1st 2018 to January 15th 2018. Tesco is responsible for the design of a merchandise promotional campaign that would allow more touch points for the Homecoming 2: Spiderman movie and would help increase revenues of the movie by way of merchandise sales. (Elias 2018) Tesco is also responsible for choosing the properties of Tesco that would carry the products. On the other hand, Tesco seeks to reinforce its customer base by providing them making available a range of products with mass appeal. Additionally, the given period being gifting season, the merchandise will, hopefully, add to the product mix of the gifting ideas, leading to greater sales revenue.  (Imane et al. 2018) Tesco has freewill to market the products, according to its choice as long as the messaging of the movie franchise is not altered.

This is a below the line sales campaign for the Spiderman franchise that hopes to establish a personal connection with some of its potential audience, helping carry the experience beyond the movie and the movie theatre, the primary aim of licensing tie-ins (Charles Lubbers 2008). Tesco, on the other hand, views this to be a chance to redeem itself from the recent loss of brand appeal due to the recent negative press generated and hopes that it can change customer sentiments from negative ones to positive ones. (Imane et al. 2018)

Target audience and market segments

Spiderman is a neutral, non-political figure that transcends various cultures. The appeal of Spiderman is cross cultural, international and tends to transcend income groups as well. (Flanagan 2007) Hence, it is a perfect fit for a mass appeal brand like TESCO. Spiderman, inherently, is a brand that promoted a healthy lifestyle.

Spiderman appeals to the primary shoppers of Tesco who are “Aged between 45-54, typically older males and females, with families.” This segment of customers has the largest spending in Tesco and a large part of this demographic lives in suburban areas and rural areas.  These customers make up more that 50% of Tesco and belong to all income classes. People with families and children would be drawn to the mass appeal of Spider Man. (Imane et al. 2018)  


These are primarily baby boomers who do are , generally, not used to online shopping. (Ford 2017)Spider Man is a character that has been in existence for decades and has memory value. The Spiderman series, so far, is the eight highest grossing movie series of all time. (Elias 2018)

The adventure and action genre of movie generally appeals to the younger audiences  (Redondo and Holbrook 2008) While the younger audiences are not some of the primary customers, they form a big part of the families that shop at Tesco generating appeal among the younger audiences can help build loyalty among the primary and secondary shoppers for the product, indirectly. Additionally, action and adventure movies have greater popularity among lower social classes, some of the primary customers of Tesco.  (Redondo and Holbrook 2008)

Retail sales revenues of video and software games based on licensed characters and stories such Spiderman stood at approximately $671 million in the United Kingdom last year. Sales revenue from such properties is increasingly growing (Gardner 2015) The “Character and Entertainment” property has a 44.4% of share in the licensing tie-in market. This category included films, television shows, video games and online entertainment. Spiderman is a character present in all these areas, apart from comic books, providing a host of products to choose from. (Gardner 2015)  Additionally, all the top selling categories such as groceries had a positive correlation with adventure movies. (Redondo and Holbrook 2008) 

Based on the figures provided by the marketing department of Marvel, the following products will be added to the current inventory. The basis of this tie-in is revenue sharing and all the unsold merchandise under this contract could be returned.  In order to carry the products upon the completion of the promotional campaign, the purchase of products will be renegotiated under normal terms and conditions.

Product mix and pricing strategy

Table 1 Product Mix: Items under every Product Category

Product

Items

Clothing

· SpiderMan Tech Suit

Toys and Accessories

· SpiderMan Homecoming  Flip Up Mask

· Spider-Man: Homecoming Eye FX Electronic Spider-Man, 12-inch

· SpiderMan Action Figures

· SpiderMan Keychains

Spider Man Home Utilities

· Marvel SpiderMan Bedding and Linen

· Marvel SpiderMan Sculpted Mug

Consumer Electronics

· Spiderman Headphones for Kids with Built in Volume

· Marvel Spiderman game PS4

Comic Books

· All Volumes since 2018

Transport costs for this promotional campaign and additional costs for in-store marketing and other marketing of the promotional campaign will be borne by Tesco.

The promotional campaign will be operational in all the countries that Tesco has a presence in currently. The campaign will have a more or less similar layout throughout the various countries, with minor differences to make adjustments according to the local conditions of the stores. The marketing and operations department in every county will be the follow up point for this campaign and will be primarily responsible for the execution of the campaign.

Product Spending

  • In UK, toys of licensed properties accounted for over one fifths of the total licensed retail sales. Additionally, these toys are generally, priced low and require low investment and less inventory space. Hence, a bulk of the inventory (35% of the total inventory spend) will be spent on the Toys and Accessories products.
  • Consumer Electronics, generally, offer great margins and expected to be the “hot property” of the promotional campaign. Hence, 35% of the total inventory spend will be spent on the Consumer Electronics mix.
  • Approximately 10% of the inventory spend will be on the Spiderman Tech Suit since it is expected to have the highest appeal.
  • Approximately 20% of the merchandise sales will be spent on the remaining categories of the product mix.

Marketing for Christmas Week

December is the beginning of the Holiday season and the gifting season due to Christmas. Hence, demand for gift items is expected. It is important to include novelties during the Chrtismas gift season, as shopping habits are changing drastically around Christmas and sticking to older habits could lead to massive losses. (Dennery 2013)Hence, a specialized gift pack of a single unit of various SKUs of the Spiderman Linen and Bedding, along with a Spiderman Coffee Mug will be available pre packed, at various sections. This pack will be available at all stores. Different categories of products will serve different purposes.

Table 2 Categories of Product mix and expected in store tie in

Spider Man Tech Suit

Make Tesco a one stop shop for the Spider Man Tech Suit, offering discounts to those will loyalty cards

SpiderMan Action Figures

Promote Action Figures as a bonus over a minimum amount of shopping

Spiderman Accessories

Easy availability at the billing counter for additional revenue

SpiderMan (2018) Toys and Collectibles

(including Comic books)

 Available on specially erected central counters for customers to pick and go.

  • Club Card Customers:(Tesco Plc 2018) A large part of the primary shoppers utilize the loyalty cards. (Imane et al. 2018) A special discount on the exclusive Spider Man Tech Suit will be offered to those with the Loyalty cards. Additionally, every Club Card member will receive a free SpiderMan Coffee Mug over purchase of £100.

Few select customers could win Spiderman Gift Vouchers based on a lucky draw. With the help of this, they can purchase SpiderMan Merchandise worth £50, £75 or £100.

  • Special Events:  For the Christmas week promotions, a mascot dressed as SpiderMan would promote the merchandise in every Tesco Extra and Tesco Metro. The Mascot will also, do a comic book reading. (The idea is to have a rival to the Santa Claus) Currently, talks are on with the Marketing Team to have a promotional stunt by a Spiderman.

Pricing

Pricing of the products will be kept at rates that are marginally lower than the prevailing prices in the market. It is hoped that the high volumes will help balance out the low margins of the products on this sales. This promotional campaign will, therefore, help, generate quick cash flow.

Marketing

Marvel Inc. will be executing its own campaign to promote the merchandise. These campaigns are usually comprehensive and very well marketed by Marvel Inc. (D'Alessandro 2017) Hence, no additional above the line media such as Television and print media is required to be engaged for this campaign. Social media campaigns however, will be required to promote this campaign. Facebook targeted ads will be required as well as Search Engine Optimization. (Mangolda and J.Faulds 2009) These are the two web based marketing strategies that have been identified.

The total budget for the social media advertising for this promotional campaign is as follows:

Table 3 web Properties to be employed for Marketing and Proposed Budget

Web Media Property

Budget

Facebook targeted Advertisements

£100,000

Search Engine Optimization

£50,000

Total

£150,000

There will be additional budget required for the supply of materials for gift packs, mascots and in store promotional materials such as cut outs, posters etc. The additional budget for that is expected to be more than £100,000,

All the different properties of Tesco, online and offline will participate in the promotional campaign. These properties include Tesco express, Tesco Metro, Tesco Extra, Tesco Metro, Tesco Stores. Merchandise is expected to be available, in stores, only from 12th December since the order will be placed on 2nd December. Although the overall operational strategy is the same, greater demand should be expected. (Mintel Group Ltd. 2017)

The order is expected to take roughly a week for arrival from the Chinese warehouses to the Tesco Warehouses. It will take additional two days for the merchandise to be available in stores. Since, the website properties do not require further shipping of good, orders can be taken online from 9th December 2018. Hence, pre-orders for the Tech suit and consumer electronics will be taken between December 2nd and December 12th 2018. Thereafter, goods are available both online and offline.

The Departments that would need to co-ordinate this task at each point are the marketing department, Toys department, sales department, home section, marketing department, Tesco.com team and billing department.

No additional personnel is required for this. Mascot for the promotional campaign during Christmas week can be chosen from the current personnel. All personnel will require approximately 2 hours of training and orientation for the campaign.

Conclusion

The campaign is expected to bring in additional revenue as well as help reinforce the current customer base of Tesco. Spiderman has universal appeal and hence, the tie-in should help Tesco to cater to a variety of customers, especially the primary shoppers of Tesco. The Club Card promotion should help Tesco reward its loyal customers during the season. Christmas season shopping trends have been witnessing rapid changes with several supermarkets going bust after a mixed season (Dennery 2013). The addition of the campaign and the Christmas week activities should help overcome that hurdle. The campaign should be seen as leverage for future campaigns with licensing tie-ins throughout the year, not just in December. The results of this campaign will further help identify the future licensing retail strategy. 

References

  1. CHARLES LUBBERS, William Adam (2008). Merchandising in the Major Motion Picture Industry:Creating Brand Synergy and Revenue Streams. Journal of Promotion Management , 1(2), 55-63.
  2. D'ALESSANDRO, Anthony (2017). ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Delivers Franchise’s Biggest Promotional Campaign At $140M+. [online]. Last updated 8 July. https://deadline.com/2017/07/spider-man-homecoming-global-promotion-biggest-ever-franchise-media-ad-spend-1202125535/
  3. DENNERY, Richard (2013). Running on Empty. Property Journal, 13, 22-23.
  4. ELIAS, Benyamin (2018). Marketing Superheroes: Marketing Strategy Lessons from the Marvel v. DC Rivalry. [online]. https://cglife.com/blog/marketing-superheroes-marketing-strategy-lessons-marvel-v-dc-rivalry
  5. FLANAGAN, Martin (2007). The Trajectories of SpiderMan and Ghost World. In: GORDON, Ian, JANCOVICH, Mark and MCALLISTER, Matthew P. (eds.). Film and Comic Books. Unites States of America, University Press of Mississippi, p.159.
  6. GARDNER, Kelvyn (2015). Licensing trends for 2016: Film will lead the way: WARC. [online]. Last updated 14 December. https://www.warc.com/NewsAndOpinion/Opinion/2208
  7. IMANE, Ghrib Houda, et al. (2018). Tesco Integrated Marketing Campaign. Student Asisignment,
  8. MANGOLDA, W. Glynn and J.FAULDS, David (2009). Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix. Business Horizons, 52(4), 357-365.
  9. MARVEL - SONY PICTURES (2017). SPIDER MAN:Into the Spider Verse. [online]. Last updated 9 December. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=12&v=ii3n7hYQOl4
  10. REDONDO, Ignacio and HOLBROOK, Morris B. (2008). llustrating a systematic approach to selecting motion. International Journal of Advertising, 27(5),.
  11. TERBLANCHE, Nic (2018). Revisiting the supermarket in-store customer shopping experience. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 40, 48-59.
  12. TESCO PLC (2018). [online]. https://secure.tesco.com/Clubcard/MyAccount/Home/Home
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