Marketers in tizzy over Sex & the City

The excitement is rising - and the deals are burgeoning - as we get closer to May 30, when the characters from the series will once again totter around NYC in their Manolos.

MiC wouldn’t be surprised if the number of brands being hitched to the May 30 premiere of the Sex & the City movie ends up setting some kind of record.

We’re talking Mercedes-Benz, SKYY Vodka, Fido, Sony Ericsson, Swarovski Crystals, Air Canada, Porter Airlines, W Hotel, Coty, Hazelton Lanes, Hazelton Hotel, National Post, Globe and Mail, 97.3 EZ Rock, Cineplex – and probably more by next week.

▪ Yesterday, NYC & Company (the city’s marketing, tourism and partnership organization) announced a Sex & the City promotion involving Fido, Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations. ‘New York City plays a prominent role in [the movie] and fans have a real desire to experience the place that created such a cultural phenomenon,’ explains NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. ‘This campaign, combined with our website, engages consumers and allows fans the opportunity to live out their own Sex & the City experience.’

Represented in Canada by Toronto-based VisionCo, NYC & Company brought together mobile and travel industry leaders to create a national, multiplatform campaign around the movie’s Canadian premiere. Each organization received a block of tickets for premieres in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa, and is being assisted in the staging of various contests.

Fido, as the film’s official Canadian wireless sponsor, will present the ‘Sex and the City Sweepstakes,’ offering contestants a chance to win tickets to the Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver premieres along with invitations to post-event cocktail parties.

And, in phase two of the contest (closing Aug. 30), six winners will receive trips for two to New York, courtesy of NYC & Company, Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations. They will receive two-night stays at W Hotels and have the opportunity to experience the life of their favourite character on the official Sex & the City Tour, courtesy of On Location Tours. Winners will also receive a Sony Ericsson Z750i phone from Fido.

▪ Another promotional partner is SKYY Vodka (distributed here by PMA), the film’s official spirits sponsor. The deal between PMA and Canadian distributor Alliance Films (which has a second-by-second countdown-to-the-premiere clock on its website) is a multifaceted co-promotion similar to the American partnership between SKYY Spirits and New Line Cinema that made the brand the exclusive vodka in the Cosmopolitans quaffed in the film by Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda.

In Canada, SKYY will be included in the film’s promotional campaign with exclusive branding and sampling at the premieres, plus leveraging of the movie title in SKYY’s marketing initiatives and materials. These include poster art to be displayed in exclusive venues across Canada, as well as a series of national radio ads on Astral Media stations.

As if all that weren’t enough, SKYY, along with Alliance Films, has also created a dramatic ‘SKYY-Sex & the City‘ window display. The floor-to-ceiling window domination will appear in the flagship Bay and Bloor store of luxury shoe retailer David’s and – in true Sex & the City style – combine shoes and cocktails along with images of the film’s stars.

Additionally, the vodkaco has created ‘character cocktails’ for each of the lead characters, including ‘Mr. Big.’ Explains PMA national marketing manager Chris Ronikier: ‘Sex & The City‘s famed cocktail culture offers the perfect promotional tie-in for SKYY Vodka. We are excited to be a part of this high-profile film … about women living and enjoying life, being who they are and feeling good, which is the essence of SKYY.’

▪ And then there’s Mercedes-Benz Canada, which has planned an integrated marketing campaign for its new GLK model, which makes its screen debut in Sex & the City, driven by Samantha (Canadian actor Kim Cattrall). Also featured in the movie is Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, which serves as the backdrop for several scenes.

‘This movie was a natural fit for us,’ explains Mercedes-Benz Canada president/CEO Marcus Breitschwerdt. ‘It shows off our S-Class and positions the new GLK-Class in its natural urban setting before it arrives in showrooms.’ As well, he adds, ‘The four leading ladies are world-famous fashion icons. They initiate trends in the fashion world that last for more than one season, just as Mercedes-Benz does in the automotive world.’

With creative by Mercedes-Benz German AOR Jung von Matt, Canadian media buys coordinated by Alliance Films and PR done in-house at Mercedes-Benz Canada, the marketing campaign is scheduled to run from the end of May until early fall to create awareness for the GLK. It will include newspaper advertising, in-cinema ads, an online sweepstakes, in dealer-showroom signage, customer invitations to the premieres and private screenings of the movie.

As well, a global microsite,, was designed to immerse users in New York at night, where they can take virtual tours in the GLK, plus enter a contest win a trip to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York in September. The grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to NYC, one night’s accommodation in Toronto at the Hazelton Hotel, two nights at Le Parker Meridien in New York, an official Sex & the City Tour in New York City, tickets to the premiere at Radio Music Hall, a new outfit and shoes supplied by Hazelton Lanes and crystal accessories from Swarovski – all of which will be documented on Entertainment Tonight Canada.

Mercedes-Benz Canada will also be a presenting sponsor for the movie’s Toronto premiere at the Scotiabank Theatre, followed by a party at the Toronto Circus School, and will host premiere events in five other Canadian cities.

▪ Newspapers, including the National Post and Globe and Mail, are also getting in on the action with wraps and contests, as is 97.3 EZ Rock, which is offering listeners the chance to win passes to the film’s Toronto premiere and co-sponsoring the ‘SKYY Vodka Sex & The City Martini Party’ at Azure Restaurant and Bar in the InterContinental Toronto Centre. EZ Rock has also launched a contest whose winner, and three friends, will be flown to NYC by Porter Airlines for a ‘Sex & the City Weekend,’ which will include accommodation at InterContinental the Barclay New York plus that oh-so-popular Sex & the City tour. Lesser prizes are $300 Coty gift baskets.

▪ And, to heighten the excitement at many of its theatres across Canada during the movie’s run, Cineplex will offer patrons official Sex & the City Cosmo cocktails.