Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Smallville Promotional Tie-ins

For the season three premiere, the Smallville producers teamed up with Verizon to provide registered users a chance to view plot updates—in the presentation of a press release from The Daily Planet—as well as quizzes and games related to the show. As part of the deal, Verizon products and services were placed in various episodes of the show. In a promotional tie-in with Sprint, Smallville Legends: The Oliver Queen Chronicles was released dictating the early life of Oliver Queen in a six-episode CGI series. According to Lisa Gregorian, Executive Vice President of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros. Television Group, explained these promotional tie-ins are ways to get fans more connected to the show. On April 19, 2007, a tie-in with Toyota, promoting their new Yaris, featured an online comic strip as interstitial programs, during new episodes of Smallville, titled Smallville Legends: Justice & Doom. The interactive comic was based on the episode "Justice", which follows the adventures of Oliver Queen, Bart Allen, Victor Stone, and Arthur Curry as they seek to destroy all of LuthorCorp's secret experimental labs. The online series allowed viewers to investigate alongside the fictional team, in an effort to win prizes. Stephan Nilson wrote all five of the episodes, while working with a team of artists for the illustrations. The plot for each comic episode would be given to Nilson as the production crew for Smallville was filming their current television episode. Artist Steve Scott would draw comic book panels, which would be sent to a group called Motherland. That group would review the drawings and tell Scott which images to draw on a separate overlay. This allowed for multiple objects to be moved in and out of the same frame.
In 2008, The CW entered into a partnership with makers of the Stride brand of chewing-gum to give viewers the opportunity to create their own Smallville digital comic. The writers and producers developed the comic's beginning and end, but are using the viewers to provide the middle. The CW began their tie-in campaign with the March 13, 2008 episode "Hero", where Pete develops superhuman elasticity after chewing some kryptonite-infused Stride gum. Going to The CW's website, viewers vote on one of two options—each adds four pages to the comic—every Tuesday and Thursday until the campaign officially ended on April 7, 2008. For season seven, Smallville teamed-up with Sprint again to bring Sprint customers "mobisodes" featuring Clark's cousin Kara.

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