Sony Pictures' marketing machine has employed a particularly original tactic in its promotion of a new film about William Shakespeare, commissioning a report into Shakespeare's brand value to coincide with the film's release on to DVD.
The report, 'Indicative value of the Shakespeare brand', commissioned by Hausmann Communications on behalf of Sony to align with the release of Anonymous, claims that the Shakespeare brand is stronger than that of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein, to name a few.
Furthermore, the Shakespeare brand rating (AAA) is higher than that of Commonwealth Bank (AA+), Toyota (AA+), Telstra (AA-) and Woolworths (AA-), the study claims.
The study, conducted by brand valuation firm Brand Finance, estimates the current value of the Shakespeare brand to be $600m, taking in to account book sales and downloads, paid attendance to theatre productions, box office from film productions and tourism revenue stemming from the Globe Theatre and Stratford-upon-Avon, among others.
The report then links this finding to the premise of the movie Anonymous, which explores the theory that Shakespeare may not have authored the iconic plays which are attributed to him.
"This value could be based on a falsehood. If it were proven that William Shakespeare was not the author of the works that have been credited to him, the value of the Shakespeare brand would decline," the report states.