In one of the biggest and most in-depth cross-promotional activities I've ever seen in a Facebook game to date, Universal Pictures and Regal Entertainment have partnered with Cie Games' Car Town to promote Universal Pictures' upcoming film Fast Five, the fifth movie in the popular Fast & the Furious franchise. The film launches in theaters on April 29, but you'll have plenty of activities to keep you busy in the meantime.
This new promotion covers many aspects of Car Town's gameplay, from simply allowing users to watch a trailer for the film in the in-game drive-in movie theater, to allowing players to explore and interact with virtual representations of environments seen in the film. You'll be able to race in a virtual Rio de Janeiro (where this latest movie is set), and complete special missions that tie into the film's storyline. You'll even eventually be able to get your hands on some of the actual cars from the entire franchise in your virtual garage. For Regal Entertainment, their role in this cross-promotion comes when users actually decide to purchase tickets to see the film. Players will be offered prizes within Car Town for purchasing movie tickets, when they purchase these tickets from directly within the game. Car Town itself will then be integrated into the real-world movie theater environment, giving Cie Games exposure in places they've likely never been before.
"The Cie Games licensing partnership represents the most extensive full-scale integration to date of a Universal Pictures film property within an existing social game," said Gary Lokum, Senior Manager Digital Platforms, NBC Universal, via a company press release. "Our goal is to extend the film experience in innovative ways. This program accomplishes that on multiple levels: as a revenue generating social gaming platform, film marketing outlet, and as a new way to reward fans of the franchise via virtual gifts."
While this is an exciting time for those in the business, I simply can't get over this promotion as a player. I will gladly admit that the Fast and the Furious franchise is one of my favorite sets of films ever created, so to see it integrated so completely into Car Town is an exciting thing. It will be interesting to see if the game's 8 million other players agree.
What do you think of the Fast Five promotion in Car Town? Will you purchase tickets to see the film to receive free in-game prizes? Let us know in the comments.