Zynga is racking up the Hollywood and entertainment partnerships. After launching a marketing deal with Lady Gaga for FarmVille, the social gaming giant is rolling out another deal, this time with DreamWorks Animation for the promotion of the studio’s new movie Kung Fu Panda 2. Zynga says this is the first-ever in-game integration within CityVille, the company’s most popular game by monthly active users on Facebook.
CityVille, which has more than 88 million monthly players, will allow users to place a Kung Fu Panda 2 themed drive-in movie theater in their city. Players who place the theater will also receive collection items, members of Kung Fu Panda’s Furious Five: Tigress, Crane, Mantis, Viper and Monkey. When all five items are collected, an exclusive Po the Panda statue will be unlocked and available to players as a reward for completing the Kung Fu Panda 2 quest. The integration runs until May 31.
Why CityVille? Zynga’s Global Director of Brand Advertising Manny Anekal says that nearly a third of all Kung Fu Panda fans on Facebook have also played CityVille. For DreamWorks, the studio can reach 88 million users, who are engaged with the Kung Fu Panda brand, with the promotion.
This isn’t the first partnership with DreamWorks; Zynga and the studio previously launched a “Mega-Farm” promotion on FarmVille with animated movie Megamind. But Zynga says this is the first in-game marketing deal for CityVille. And this follows the recent appointment of DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg to Zynga’s board of directors.
As we wrote in the past, adding Katzenberg to the gaming company’s board represented a broader, multi-channel entertainment strategy for Zynga. I’m sure we’ll see a number of similar deals being struck with both DreamWorks and other movie studios for branded promotions in Zynga’s games.