- Shake Shack is teaming up with "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" for a restaurant experience and wider national promotion, per details shared with Marketing Dive. Produced by Nintendo, Illumination and Universal, the film about the iconic video game characters debuts in theaters on April 5.
- The chain's location in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, will feature visual and physical elements from the film. A special menu features a Gold Star Shake and 4 Cheese 'Shroom + Fire Sauce items inspired by the movie. The activation, which offers branded merchandise to the first 100 guests per day, runs from March 31 to April 2.
- To boost the campaign outside of New York, Shake Shake is entering guests who order a 'Shroom Buger via the brand's Shack App or website into a sweepstakes for movie tickets. The tie-up speaks to the growing role of video games in pop culture and marketing.
Shake Shack is partnering with what could be one of the biggest films of the spring in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," an animated adaption of the iconic video game franchise with a star-studded voice cast that includes Chris Pratt, Seth Rogen and Anya Taylor-Joy. The activation and national promotion play off of Shake Shack's mushroom-based ‘Shroom burgers and the Mario series’ recognizable mushroom power-ups.
The chain's DUMBO location will be made over with visual and physical elements inspired by the film, generating photo opportunities that could extend the campaign's reach on social media. Exclusive menu items and giveaways of free Mario and Shake Shack swag, such as custom backpacks, hats, shirts and more, could boost foot traffic to the location. Wendy's utilized a similar pop-up takeover concept by turning a location into a Morty's as part of a collaboration with Adult Swim’s "Rick and Morty."
Outside of the New York area, Shake Shack is incentivizing consumers to buy its 'Shroom Burgers via mobile or web channels by giving away tickets to the movie. Brands including Skyy Vodka and Espolòn Tequila have made ticket giveaways part of their movie-related efforts, especially as consumers have returned to theaters as the effects of the pandemic subside.
While brand tie-ins with blockbusters are common, the new "Super Mario Bros. Movie" gives marketers an opportunity to reach both filmgoers and video game fans. Video games increasingly play a large part in pop culture and represent a way for brands to connect with younger consumers that are difficult to reach through traditional channels. Still, marketers have yet to go all-in gaming due to misconceptions about the audience and the tactics available to them.
"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" is tracking to make at least $85 million to $90 million over its five-day opening period, according to Deadline. The 1993 live-action “Super Mario Bros.” film was a critical and commercial bomb that grossed $38.9 million worldwide against a budget north of $42 million.