Finally, a week resulting in a battle for the spots in the promotion department and not for the demotion slots! But before we get to those, here are the contenders that just missed out on promotion glory or demotion doom.
Let’s get the shoddy material out of the way first. Immortals better do away with that droning voiceover before the film’s release on 11-11-11 or it’ll scare away folks looking to avoid a history lesson. We don’t need anymore broad overviews like the one presented in this new TV spot. Give us a peek inside Theseus’ head! Footloose is having some trouble, too, delivering another clip suggesting the film will rock some wicked dance routines, but fall completely flat in the drama department.
On the brighter side of the past week’s marketing effort is the new red band trailer for The Thing. The piece packs a strong connection to the original while offering a few new thrills, keeping the tension high. J. Edgar isn’t really my type of piece, but there’s no denying that this film and star Leonardo DiCaprio have Oscar potential written all over them. The Awakening also gets a new trailer that tells a bit too much, but is intriguing enough to make you want to see the story play out in full.
The poster realm is rather sparse, but we did get a new one-sheet for the third installment of the Paranormal Activity franchise. It’s nothing special, but that’s only because the series has built up such a strong reputation, marketing effort techniques become givens. On the other hand, the poster for Another Happy Day is striking simply because we’ve never seen anything like this before. An upside-down silhouette of a person in a yellow tube is bound to make any passerby stop and wonder.
As the seasons come and go, so do promotional items. Here’s some that have the potential to stick with you even after the feature comes and goes – for better or worse.
1. The Sitter Red Band TV Spot: How many of you are actually watching your TV intently during a commercial break? I know I don’t and, even if I do, I’m in a rather numb state, basically idling until my program resumes. A TV spot needs an element that’ll catch a viewer’s attention enough to compel that individual to tune back in and the lullaby in the new red band TV spot for The Sitter might have the power to do just that. Even better, once you pick your head back up, you’re shown bold text on a bright orange background that’s simply impossible to miss. And, to top it all off, the piece packs some stellar comedic timing and an effective juxtaposition between the crude material and sweet tune.
2. Premium Rush Trailer: As a New Yorker, I always wonder, who are those crazy people riding bikes in the middle of city traffic. The new Premium Rush trailer brings the bike messenger gig to life in an exciting, almost sports-like fashion and, appropriately, provides a solid amount of character information before diving into the rather perplexing meat of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character’s situation. The graphics are successful, the imagery is innovative and the action is particularly well covered. Who knows? Premium Rush could make becoming a bike messenger a thrill-seeker’s dream job.
3. 13: Michael Shannon sure has a bit of a mean streak going. Not only is he Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s nemesis in Premium Rush, but in 13, he’s busy organizing a deadly game of Russian roulette. The trailer for the American remake of 13 Tzameti puts the original’s incredibly intriguing concept to use yet again, having us watch as 13 men put guns to each other’s heads for the sake of large sums of money. This trailer doesn’t even need to boast about its all-star cast including Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Alexander Skarsgård and more; the story is all the enticement you need.
1. Rec 3: Genesis Spanish Teaser Trailer: Can you say cop out? While the latter portion of the teaser trailer for Rec 3 is effective, the beginning is just all wrong. It’s quite clear what the creator is aiming for – paint a pretty picture and then shock you by dousing it in blood. The problem is, the technique isn’t effective in the least and looks rather unprofessional. Another major concern is that the choice to opt for a still photo montage has something to do with an unsuccessful shoot. Could the editor not find enough footage to put together a solid teaser? It’s far to soon to tell, but at the moment, it doesn’t look like the third film will live up to its predecessors.
2. 13 Poster: At least 13 has an entry in the promotions department to balance out this dismal poster. With a plot like this, how could the designer not come up with a more creative image? This one’s got Photoshop written all over it courtesy of the character cut-and-paste as well as their forced body blending. As the film’s trailer proved, you don’t need to show off your rock star cast if the plot can hold its own. In fact, I can think of a far more visually appealing and stimulating design right off the top of my head; an overhead shot of 13 men standing in a circle holding guns to each other’s heads, popping off a white background. I vote for that.
3. Wuthering Heights Trailer: I’ll admit, I don’t know my classic English literature, but is Wuthering Heights a horror story? Forget the fact that the tone of this piece is all wrong; what’s even happening here any way? If you want to get all artsy and show clips of bugs and blowing grass in the feature, fine, but if you’re trying to sell your film, perhaps you should aim for some degree of story and character representation. Just because the movie’s based on iconic source material doesn’t mean the trailer can bypass storytelling entirely.