Remember when ... The Muppets advertised for Alamo? The tie-in isn't surprising at all. Alamo has long been the official rental car provider of Walt Disney World and Disneyland and Disney bought The Muppets in 2004. As a result, Alamo (and new parent company Enterprise) have frequently been involved in movie releases from Disney, such as 2017's Cars 3. And in 2011, Alamo and Disney decided to cross-promote the rental car company and the upcoming release of the movie The Muppets.
Flat tire, lawn mower, Geo Metro, or Rowlf the Dog?
The commercial had a few moving parts; the Alamo part of the offer was encouraging customers to get involved with social media (in 2011) with a "Get the Gang Back Together" promotion where one customer was going to win $5,000 but others could win Alamo rentals, gas cards, and Muppets-related prizes. Disney received free advertising for their upcoming movie, and Alamo had modest, gratuitous product placement in the movie! Amy Adams used an Alamo-logoed map in the film to navigate Los Angeles. And the youngsters today ask:
- What's a map?
- Rental car companies really gave those out?
How did the movie fare? While Rotten Tomatoes suggests the movie was well-received, the box office totals were very low for a Disney movie, not even reaching the $100 million mark (as a comparison, last year's Beauty and the Beast is at the $1.3 billion mark). The company then signed on to make a lesser-rated follow-on three years later starring Ricky Gervais. And Ricky Gervais is a long way from The Muppet Show some of us remember!