The New York Times has a great article on the changing world of movie promotions. Instead of the Happy Meal tie-in (which has survived to this day, Darwin-esque in its ability to evolve), marketers are creating experiences — micro and macro — that bring the movie to life.
I particularly like this experiential activation for the film Where the Wild Things Are:
The promotions stretched boundaries, especially in New York. NYC & Company, the tourism arm of New York, produced Wild Things Week NYC, an event in October that included a nearly monthlong exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum. That exhibit featured the original drawings and manuscripts for the children’s book, written by Maurice Sendak, on which the movie is based; giveaways of crowns like those worn by the protagonist, Max, at hotels, restaurants and retailers; and a curriculum put together by the New York City Department of Education based on the book and film and posted on the department’s Web site for teachers across the country to use as a reference.