By Jenny Fujita and Joy Miura Koerte, Fujita & Miura Public Relations

On June 14, Reuters reported that “Shrek 2” became “the highest-grossing animated film of all time in the United States and Canada,” having sold $354 million worth of tickets. E! Online called “Shrek 2” a “mean green money machine” and an “ogre-iffic sequel.” While we all know and love Shrek, Donkey, and Princess Fiona, and while we appreciate the top-notch scripting and animation in the movie, there are many great animated movies on the market today. What pushed “Shrek 2” over the top? The answer is in cross-promotion.

Cross promotion is a buzz phrase among marketing professionals these days and for good reason. Just as collaboration is the trend in government, business and community service, it is also the hot new thing in the art of promotion. So, how did cross promotion work for “Shrek 2?”

Those who marketed the film smartly made a ton of partnerships. When the movie was released, we suddenly began seeing a plethora of TV ads featuring the “Shrek 2” characters. A Dial Soap commercial features Shrek pulling a green blob out of his ear and placing it on a sink where Donkey subsequently mistakes the ear goop for hair gel, and slicks it through his forelock (ala “Something About Mary”). The commercial ends with Dial’s tagline, “You’re not as clean as you think.” The cartoons also made their way through Burger King, Baskin & Robbins, M&M, Sierra Mist, Hewlett-Packard, and many other ads. On the “Shrek 2” website, 11 promotional partners are listed, including the United States Postal Service. It wasn’t just about appearing in TV ads though. Each partner product featured games, toys, or contests that pushed the collaborative and promotional envelope.

The success of “Shrek 2” teaches us that today it’s not necessarily enough to offer a great product or service. We have to work together to pull consumers off their couches and compel them to buy our widgets and our partners’ widgets as a whole, better, more alluring package. Think about who you can team up with to give your business the edge you need to succeed, and be sure to integrate both marketing (sales) and public relations (relationship-building) tactics.

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