Special Post: Bad Advertisement Part 1
So recently I saw the movie Knowing, which if you haven't seen or heard of is about a guy who discovers a piece of paper in a time capsule that has predicted every world disaster for 50 years. It predicts 3 more, one of which is 'everyone else'. Now I'd pretty much avoided this movie because I thought it had looked completely idiotic and generic in the previews I'd seen constantly on tv. I found when I watched it that it was actually an ok movie, and not a generic disaster movie, ala Deep Impact, The Day After Tomorrow, etc.
So that got me thinking, the idea behind advertising is to encourage people to see a movie, but to what degree do advertisements sometimes hurt the movie's chances of being watched? I'm going to first look at trailers. Later we'll move on to other forms of advertisement or promotion.
I've already mentioned Knowing, I had a similar experience with Paranormal Activity, which I only ended up seeing upon urging from a friend. While the movie was one of the scariest I've ever seen, and makes brilliant use of its tiny budget, the trailers look entirely hokey. They use this one 3 second clip (which is from the very end of the fucking movie, more on that later) and then the audience being all scared, and that's supposed to make me think 'ooh spooky!' What it looks like, in the trailer, is a body on wires being carried into the room, and big fucking deal. I'm not sure how they could make the trailer more enticing, but that was definitely not the way. While I didn't know that this shot was the very end of the movie, I still found it irritating after the fact, just like in Surrogates where the trailer also uses footage from the very end of the movie. You have a whole movie to choose 20 seconds from, and you feel driven to use the climax? Just terrible.
Another similar issue that leads to me not wanting to see a movie is bombarding me with 8000 trailers every day showing the movie over and over. I recall at one time the same Transformers teaser being played 3 times consecutively. Even more annoying than this was the 2 weeks leading up to the release of Jennifer's Body. I got so sick of Megan Fox asking me if I wanted it, and I could recite the clips from that stupid trailer for you. I wasn't really hot on the movie to begin with, but I sure as hell didn't go see it after that. I wanted nothing more than to forget about the damned movie for months, so that I could enjoy what my tv looks like without devil megan leering at me and then trying to eat me.
So what have we learned? Choose your footage carefully, choose what you say carefully, and dont say it on the same channel more than 50 times an hour. And watch out for Megan Fox, because she will eat you.