Universal, Google Team for ‘Bourne’ Promo

NEW YORK Universal Pictures and Google have joined to promote the upcoming summer film The Bourne Ultimatum and at the same time tout several of Google’s products to moviegoers.

“The Ultimate Search for Bourne With Google,” which launches on Monday, is an interactive game that uses several Google products, including search, maps, images, translation and YouTube, to let players adopt the persona of Jason Bourne, the film’s hero. Players are given challenges each week at a dedicated Google site, www.google.com/bourne.

Doug Neil, svp of digital marketing at Universal, said the interactive game is a way for Universal to connect deeper with fans of the Bourne franchise, which includes two previous installments based on books by Robert Ludlum.

“We see a lot of value in aligning with Google,” he said. “They have a large audience, and their user tends to be tech savvy. It fits the audience for the Bourne franchise.”

Universal will promote the game with search ads on Google, banners on non-Google sites, movie trailers and in-theater promotions. Google is not being paid to host the game, which is launching in seven countries.

Instead, Google is using the “Bourne” game as a way to introduce users to its products that are less popular than its ubiquitous Web search, such as Google Translation. One part of the game lets users track Bourne via a “surveillance camera” that is placed on a Google map, showing off its interactive options.

“They know their users like entertainment content,” Neil said. “They like to look for projects that enhance access to the products they offer.”

In the past, Google has used mass-market movies and the World Cup to attract users to its newer products. It built an interactive puzzle game for The Da Vinci Code last spring. That was designed to show off Google’s text messaging, video and mapping services.

Google and Universal also teamed up in a smaller promotion for The Break-Up last summer that solicited user videos about their own break-up experiences. Outside of entertainment, Google and Nike teamed up to create JogaTV, a soccer social network that showed off the capabilities of Orkut, Google’s social-networking offering.