I'm always interested in the way studios market movies. You can enjoy movie marketing on a surface level, admiring the posters or trailers or clips, and calling it a day. After all, marketing is what it is: It's a tool used to get you to go watch their movie. Some of it is more enjoyable (and time consuming) than others, but at the end of the day it all serves the same purpose. And sure, I love trailers -- I love the creative ways filmmakers and studios come up with to try to build anticipation for a film. Covering them is part of my job, and while I don't like spoilers as much as the next fan, I've come to look at taking a spoiler the way a solider would take a bullet: it's just part of what we do every day.
But once you move on from the surface-level parts of movie marketing, you get to the real fun stuff. The stuff you don't realize is marketing; the fancy, somewhat maniacal way smart marketers cater to those who may not use trailers, posters and clips to decide whether or not to see a movie. So you've got your viral campaigns and product placement, but then you also have your convenient celebrity scandals that just so happen to break right before the "victim" is about to star in a big movie.
That's where Blake Lively comes in. Look, I personally have no proof that the recent leak of nude Blake Lively images has anything to do with marketing for Green Lantern (and I don't think a studio would have the balls to stage this), but I've been watching the whole thing go down -- not to mention the non-stop chatter of her conveniently-timed romance with one of Hollywood's biggest stars (Leonardo DiCaprio) in all the gossip rags -- and one thing I keep noticing is that along with all the scandalous chatter comes the obligatory part where the writer mentions Blake Lively's next role in this month's Green Lantern.
Sure, it may just be an unfortunate coincidence that nude cell phone photos of the girl leaked online right before her summer blockbuster debut, but if it were a staged piece of marketing (either on her part, her agents, managers or publicists), it would totally make sense. Because Green Lantern has such a dense mythology, Warner Bros. has had to spend a ridiculous amount of time (in trailers, posters and TV spots) explaining that mythology so that it makes sense to the average moviegoer and gets them interested in seeing it. Unfortunately, that's sort of left Blake Lively's role in the film out of the equation. Try searching for images of her in the film -- there's only, like, one or two online. It's kind of embarrassing. Does the average moviegoer even know Blake Lively is in Green Lantern?
Well, now they do.
Not only will people become a lot more aware of Lively's presence in Green Lantern, but this whole "scandal" is conveniently helping Warners target an audience they haven't had time to go after yet: women. With the nude pics scandal hitting this week and spreading across the web, it gives the gossip rags time to piece together stories to run in next week's issues, leading into the week of release for Green Lantern. It's literally perfect timing; some would say a little too perfect.
Of course it could all just be a coincidence. An unfortunate one, too, if the girl didn't want those pics getting out. Then again, till this day I still don't understand why celebrities take nude pics of themselves with their phones because they always wind up getting out. Unless, ya know, that was the plan all along ...