Swashbuckling Runs Amok in 'Pirates' Effort

  |  May 20, 2011   |  Comments

A slew of "savvy" promotions, as Captain Jack Sparrow might call them.

Disney is promoting the fourth installment of its “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise with a slew of "savvy" online promotions, as Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow might call them - on Facebook, Yahoo, and elsewhere.

movies-showtimes-screen-captureOn Yahoo, ads for “On Stranger Tides” will run through June 5, bringing the swashbuckling action to the homepage, movies, and OMG! En Espanol sections. Creative includes floating overlays and wallpaper units. Back in December, a dedicated Yahoo landing page for the film racked up 2.4 million streams of the official trailer in the first 24 hours it was available.  

The franchise's Facebook page, with more than 5.4 million likes, offers movie tickets and show times by zip code. It also has several apps: Skull Creator lets visitors decorate a skull-and-crossbones with hair, jewelry and wounds; Pirate Yourself is a photo uploader feature; Get Yer Pirate Name is a name generator; and a Battle Galleons game invites users to “blast [their] opponent out of the water.”

On the official site, Disney is offering fans a chance to “Join Jack’s Crew” with “Become a Pirate” badges that fans earn as they navigate around. Disney also has a Lego Pirates Photo Mashup, allowing users to create images and wallpapers with Lego figures based on characters from the film. 

And that's not all. Verizon has a Pirate Discovery App with videos and the ability to buy tickets. Pirate’s Booty is offering a limited edition Aged White Cheddar snack with a Pirates tie-in. Nail products company OPI has a “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” collection with shades like Planks a Lot, Sparrow Me the Drama and Skull and Glossbones. Pop culture retailer Hot Topic is offering 50% off “Pirates of the Caribbean” products, including t-shirts and jewelry. The list goes on.

@DisneyPirates, the movie’s Twitter handle, has more than 8400 followers and has been tweeting with the hashtag #PiratesLife. It even tweeted @Oprah, “Did ye know that yer #PirateName be Siren Oprah, the Terror O' the Gold Road?”


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Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest,,, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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