A tie-in is a type of promotional campaign which combines multiple media for maximum public exposure. Tie-in campaigns can be quite extensive, often saturating urban areas. Usually tie-ins are used by the movie industry, which cooperates with publishers, toy manufacturers, and others for additional advertising power. The tie-in is viewed as a very effective way to get consumers to purchase more products and to stimulate enthusiasm for an upcoming film.
In the film industry, multiple tie-ins are often used. In many cases, major action films are accompanied by video games which are released on the same day, or within the same week. Movie goers are encouraged to purchase the video game to experience aspects of the film at home, and gamers are encouraged to see the movie if they enjoy the video game. Movie studios work hand in hand with game development companies to make sure that the video game is realistic and meshes well with the film.
Special editions of books which have been made into films are frequently used for tie-ins. In some cases, a book tie-in may simply involve the replacement of the cover with one related to the film. In others, a book about a movie may be simultaneously released with it, for consumers interested in knowing more about the film. Many publishers work with movie studios to offer special movie tie-in packages to bookstores which include a cheaper package price for tie-in products.
Toys are also often used in tie-in campaigns. Many businesses such as fast food establishments give out free toys as part of children's meals to not only promote the film, but bring in customers as well. In some cases, the restaurants pair with movie studios to release action figures of movie characters for children's films. For adult movies, other collectible items such as figurines, plates, and similar items may be released in other markets in conjunction with a major film.
A well executed tie-in campaign will cover multiple industries. For example, a major children's film might be released in coordination with a video game. In addition, figurines from the movie would be available, while bookstores would feature a special edition book based on the film. If the film was based on a book, publishers would release a movie tie-in version for bookstores to sell. This saturated advertising campaign would translate to an increase in sales for all of the industries involved, making it a practical cooperative effort.