DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda 3” came out in theaters last weekend to a healthy $41 million domestic gross and $117 million globally. But while most films seem to vanish from the advertising arena soon after their release date, DreamWorks isn’t going to allow Po the panda to go gentle into that good opening weekend. The studio has partnered with the website builder Wix for a 30-second spot in the third quarter of Super Bowl 50 this Sunday, which you can see right here a full four days early:
The particulars of the partnership, like whether DreamWorks and Wix are splitting the estimated $5 million cost, were not divulged. This is Wix’s second Super Bowl outing — last year, the company went solo with a spot featuring retired NFL players like the Cowboys’ Terrell Owens and Emmitt Smith and former Packers quarterback Brett Favre, whose fledgling companies needed a bit of a boost and found one it using websites they designed with Wix.
DreamWorks executives liked the ad so much, they approached Wix after seeing it in February 2015, says Wix head of brand integration Natalie Rozenboim. The studio wanted to partner up to help sell “Kung Fu Panda 3” in the next Super Bowl. The film series follows a bumbling panda on his journey to becoming a kung fu master, and so, continues Rozenboim, the “do-it-yourself” empowerment of Wix was a natural thematic fit.
The first two installments of the “Kung Fu Panda” franchise had summer premieres, but DreamWorks reportedly wanted to take advantage of the robust Chinese New Year audiences abroad. It might seem strange, then, that the official spot wouldn’t run until after the movie’s release. But the co-branded campaign actually began three weeks ago, with a series of teasers — one of which has drawn more than 1.5 million views on YouTube and the hashtag #StartStunning.
Given the popularity of the “Kung Fu Panda” franchise, the two companies could tack on a few million extra impressions to the 100-plus-million they’ll get from the game.
While the element of surprise still holds value, an increasing number of brands have discovered that in order to cut through the clutter of the dozens of ads airing during the game itself, they have to create campaigns for the campaigns. “It’s really important to us to work weeks in advance to get people on board,” says Rozenboim. “Game day is just so noisy.”