Gladys Santiago

Lightyear: Actual Product Displacement Partnership

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Product Placements by Gladys Santiago on December 26, 2009

Lightyear - Cars

In 2006, Goodyear teamed with Disney and Pixar to promote Cars.  In the animated film, the main character, Lightening McQueen (pictured above), dons Lightyear tires and the Lightyear blimp is visible during speedway races.  Goodyear’s director of marketing, Joey Viselli, has noted that the company allowed Disney/Pixar to have fun with the brand, but not with the actual brand itself, meaning Goodyear’s inclusion in the film stops short of traditional product placement.  Instead, the Lightyear cameos are an example of sponsored product displacement.  I’ve been tracking product displacement for a while now, and the Lightyear/Cars occurrence is the only example I’m aware of in which a brand lobbies to be parodied or fictionalized.  To promote the release of the film, Goodyear tweaked its iconic Spirit of Goodyear blimp to read “Lightyear” for 15 days and offered Cars-related giveaways.