TGI Fridays' mention in 'Deadpool' was worth $785K in free advertising -- and counting

The community manager at TGI Friday’s apparently saw “Deadpool” this weekend.

The restaurant chain is pretty psyched about its mention in the Marvel movie, which opened last weekend and has already broken R-rated movie records with $135 million in domestic gross takings over the weekend. So psyched, in fact, that it has already tweeted about it four times in the last 24 hours. (Out of a total of seven tweets over that period.)

The endless apps emporium has reason to celebrate: That mention alone was worth $785,000 in free advertising for the chain through Monday, according to Joyce Julius and Associates, an independent company that evaluates corporate sponsorship and brand mentions. The company — which calculates the worth of a brand mention based on box office estimates and the cost to reach a similar audience via traditional advertising — said that the $785,000 figure will only increase over time. Eric Wright, president and executive director of research said that figure doesn’t include exposure generated from social media, which also helps create the buzz.

(According to Kantar Media, TGI Friday’s spent about $53 million in measured media, which means paid media, in 2014, the latest year for which data is available.)

In a climactic scene at the end of the movie, Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, bumps into an old friend he recognizes as “Bob,” a childhood chum he shared plenty of memories with at TGI Friday’s in Jacksonville, Florida. (Marvel aficionados will recognize Bob as “Hydra Bob,” a henchman from criminal organization Hydra, which doesn’t appear in the movie but is part of the Marvel canon.)

Fans have been tweeting about TGI’s appearance, and so it’s a good thing that the brand didn’t take too long to respond, unlike Red Lobster, which took a whole eight hours to tweet about its appearance in Beyonce’s “Formation” on Super Bowl weekend.  And, speaking of the Super Bowl, when Peyton Manning name checked Budweiser twice during the big game, he essentially gave the Anheuser-Busch brand more than $3.2 million in instant free advertising

According to Brandwatch, 61 percent of all mentions have been positive in the conversation. “The reason a brand, in this case TGI Friday’s, actively plays into these situations is because it is attempting to capitalize on randomly and organically being brought into a conversation that is both cool and outside its area of expected promotion,” said Kellan Terry, analyst at Brandwatch. “Any opportunity to share any residual spotlight from the film is a chance where a brand can make itself more culturally relevant.”