WB Promotes The Hobbit in Britain

Warner Bros. Consumer Products U.K. has rolled out a series of U.K. retail promotions in support of the second film in The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

The film, which is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, topped the U.K. box office when it opened last Friday.

In a reprise of last year’s retail initiative for the first film in the trilogy, U.K. bookseller Waterstones is featuring a bespoke installation in its flagship Piccadilly store. The children’s area once again resembles Hobbiton through custom-made decorations and furniture where families can read and complete themed activity sheets. The store is also hosting a green screen photo opportunity and a full range of licensed products is on sale.

Other retail activities across the U.K. include a competition with Argos to win a Lonely Mountain map signed by Richard Armitage, the actor who plays Thorin Oakenshield; Toys ‘R’ Us and Cartoon Network are promoting a limited edition The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug poster via a TV spot and their online hub; children’s website Swapit is running an eight-week competition with brand partners including LEGO, Vivid Group and HarperCollins to win tickets to an exclusive screening; and The Entertainer is also promoting a competition that offers the winner an exclusive screening of the film.

“Last year’s campaign with Waterstones succeeded in bringing the magic of the big screen into a traditional retail environment. The result was high-volume product sales and an unforgettable store-in-store experience for the fans, and we’re thrilled to be working with them again this Christmas,” says Paul Bufton, general manager, WBCP U.K. “The success of the first film demonstrated the enormous potential of The Hobbit trilogy and we are delighted that retailers have been getting behind The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug with such force. We’ve put together a strong schedule of retail activity that will be crucial to ensuring that the superb licensed merchandise stands out during this highly competitive retail period.”

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