The Conversation: Did the Super 8 Marketing Sell You on Seeing the Movie?

The Conversation: Did the Super 8 Marketing Sell You on Seeing the Movie?

Jun 07, 2011

With a couple more days until Super 8 arrives in theaters, the conversation today revolves around whether the film was marketed properly and directed at the right audience. As of today the film isn't tracking very well in terms of overall awareness, with (according to Vulture) only 64% of the people surveyed aware of the film, while only 36% have expressed definite interest in seeing it. Those numbers are down from last week's X-Men: First Class (90% awareness, 49% definite interest), and Green Lantern (86% awareness, 45% definite interest), which comes out later this month.

So why, then, is the film tracking so low with audiences when it comes attached to fan-favorite J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg, and the early reviews are mainly positive? Were there missed opportunities in its marketing campaign? Should they have mentioned Lost, E.T. or The Goonies? Vulture points to the secrecy surrounding the project and Abrams' unwillingness to show the monster prior to the film's release. With an original story featuring a cast of no-name kids, did the marketing need that monster in order to put more people in seats on opening weekend? Or are audiences so conditioned these days to seeing sequels, reboots and adaptations during the summer blockbuster season that original concepts are that tough of a sell?

We took this conversation to Twitter earlier today, and here were some of the responses when we asked the following question: Did the Super 8 Marketing Sell You on Seeing the Movie?

@ezgoo: as a "movie guy" I was hooked right off the bat. My wife on the other hand took much longer to come around. She said ... "It looks good, I just don't know what it is I'm looking at." Which I feel is perfect, your not supposed to know yet!

@ryan_fernand: It did but probably not the general audience...no recognizable stars, the general audience doesn't care about directors

@geekCouch: SUPER 8 marketing made me want to watch GOONIES, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, ET & FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, not SUPER 8.

@kingbry7: It was JJ that sold me.

@gholson: Not a bit. The ads tell me nothing other than who made it, and that it has explosions. I've never watched Abrams' TV shows, so his name doesn't really mean that much to me. He's just the guy who made a good TREK.

@JoshHouchin: Not really, Bad Robot sold it for me. I thought the marketing was too esoteric for its own good. Still don't know what to expect.

 @truthoncinema: It absolutely sold me on the film! The mystery, the intrigue, & the viral stuff all led me along like a great game of Clue! 

@osirisvaughn: Not especially, but I work at a movie theater and got beaten down with the trailer since they attached it to EVERYTHING.

 @KarstenM: Yes, the combo premise/tone/director sold it sufficiently

@tylermager: The trailer sold me, the mystery sold me.  The viral marketing while cool is largely irrelevant in whether I will go see a movie.

@katieisms: Yes, at first I was intrigued. Then it became overkill. I'm still seeing it, but my excitement feels...deflated.

@filmadelphia: Absolutely. Putting the Amblin logo up front sold me and all my film nerd friends. It immediately gives the rest a Spielberg feel

@FatboyRoberts: yup. Specifically, the 1st real trailer, w/ that music & the shots of Coach Taylor hugging his boy.

@watchinpreacher: Yes. The 70's Amblin feel + JJ and Spielberg-collaboration sold me. Big time. Oh, and I am 16 years old. :)

@SmarmyJerkface: The whole "what is it?" drew me in at first, and then finding out what it was kept my interest. So yes, it worked.

@JoBloCom: Abrams said he was aiming for the tween crowd. But I don't think they're all that aware or interested. The problem is the age they're selling is an extremely narrow window. Too scary for younger kids, not enough "Cloverfield" for teens.

@ColeAbaius: The Monster Movie angle is there, just not overt. You have to have faith in people being curious.

@MisterPatches:  I mean, it's great that they haven't given much away, but if it doesn't do well, that's the main reason why. It's an interesting conundrum. Not sure the Spielberg angle gets the young ones who need to be sold on it into the seats. To be a real "success" (not by our standards, obviously), it needs to bring in the TF crowd. Takes a certain summer adrenaline.

@swrdfshmeatloaf:  I think the lack of marketing has me more interested, knowing so little and not having it ruined in a trailer on tv is great

Feel free to sound off below and continue the conversation in our comments section ...

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