NYC Mayor Bloomberg didn’t have the power to make soda regulations fly, but one movie studio did. Two years ago Disney enacted a sweeping health initiative across its brand and it’s still the only studio to voluntarily limit the use of its branding in concessions marketing to children. You won’t see Disney’s kid-targeted brands on movie theater cups larger than a kids’ size. Anything larger is strictly forbidden from licensing, which one movie-branding vendor discovered the hard way. “We tried to do a [larger] Cars cup for Cinemark, but Disney vetoed it”, RCM’s James McGinness said.
RCM’s display at CinemaCon included collectible 12 oz. kids cups with figurines for Disney’s Monsters University, Fox’s Epic and Turbo, Universal’s Despicable Me 2, and Sony’s Smurfs 2. Marvel’s PG-13 rated Iron Man 3 was the company’s lone new release product on display in larger sizes. Meanwhile, Movie Brand Package, another branding middle-man, put out a 32 oz. model plastered with graphics from Fox’s animated adventure Epic. Studios outside of Disney tend to have “no restrictions” where children’s branding is involved, I’m told. “I’m not aware of any other studios that have followed suit”, Disney’s Exhibitor Relations VP Nancy Klueter said. “Our guidelines are to make sure if we’re marketing to kids 13 and under that we’re using good sense and not trying to sell a 44 oz. drink to a 13-year-old. We’re trying to be more appropriate with our marketing to that audience”.