Monday, July 1, 2013

Dear Disney: It's got Johnny Depp. It will make a billion dollars. Now please, stop this crap.





I'll let my loyal readers determine for themselves which of these examples of cross-promotion fails more hilariously.

Seriously.  I get that movies are expensive to make, and if you can get some tie-in promotions to cover some of the bill, you're going to do that.  But when ever other freaking advertisement playing on ESPN during the Yankees-Orioles game is an attempt to link a very modern product (cars, Subway sandwiches, etc.) with a film which is supposed to take place in the Old West, it just comes across as really stupid and almost desperate.

It gets even worse when you recall that the company willing to whore out this film to anyone willing to throw a few bucks into the till (never mind that the tie-in makes zero sense to anyone watching) is f--ing DISNEY, which has raked in roughly 800 billion dollars on the Once-Cute, Now Totally Ubiquitous Pirates of the Caribbean franchise alone over the past decade.  Disney needs more money like I need more good looks.

I do believe in the existence of a phenomenon I like to call Marketing Fatigue.  It works like this:  a long-discussed film is about to be released.  There's a lot of buzz about it, and a built-in audience that is very interested in seeing it.  About two months before the Big Release Date, we start to see teaser clips for the film.  These wet our appetites to see the flick, mission accomplished.  But then we start to see these promotional tie-ins.  Lots and lots of promotional tie-ins.  Suddenly the film we want to see is being associated with SUVs, Happy Meals, Credit Cards, and a whole lot of stuff we really don't give a damn about. We start to see a lot of non-actors who populate advertisements hyping the film while eating at Wendy's or drinking Miller Lite.  And we start to get beaten over the head with reminders to somehow "celebrate the release of------" by ordering PapaJohns pizza or dropping in a Seven-Eleven for a Slurpee.

Eventually (my theory goes) we get so bored and insulted at the constant hammering away that our appetite for the film we thought we really wanted to see fades away, and when it finally does show up at the local Multiplex, we greet it with a shrug and a yawn and a strange sense that we've already seen the film and don't have to plop down $10 for another viewing.  Maybe we do go see it, maybe we don't, but certainly the excitement is long gone.  Certainly the idea of waiting for the DVD release is no longer an inconceivable notion.

Now, I'm quite certain that this movie will make a buttload of money (see the title of this post.)  But that just makes all this unnecessary and annoying cross-marketing that much more off-putting.   If we see any of the main characters sell a car or eat at Subway during the film, it will make a little more sense.  Otherwise, this is just really, really pointless.


7 comments:

  1. I wonder what old-timey things they'll sell using Star Wars

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  2. I remember when they had a commercial for some sort of processed food that riffed on having the theme; at one point, the guys from the TV show showed up. As I recall, Tonto asked "Pizza roll, Kemosabe?"

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  3. Cars.com is the bigger tie-in fail because cars, unlike food, are totally and completely foreign to the world of The Lone Ranger. Who the hell thought it would be a great idea to get Cars.com on board for this film? There is *nothing* in it that has anything to do with automobiles. I truly feel sorry for the marketing and advertising grunts who had to come up with an ad campaign.

    Whoever came up with the Subway ad should be pimpslapped and fired because, seriously, that's the best they could come up with? Give me a break!

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    1. "The Lone Ranger and Tonto were destined for each other. And Avocado and Bacon are destined for each other at Subway this summer...."

      Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

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  4. This film is getting such atrocious reviews there should be a product tie-in with Imodium or Kaopectate.

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    1. I personally thought that three of the biggest blockbusters of the last decade- "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Avatar" were mediocre at best, so I am quite certain that a formula piece like "Lone Ranger" will make a fortune before anyone even bothers to question it's quality.

      BTW, I went on to see the second Pirates movie for some reason, thought it was a tedious bore, and gave up on the franchise. Never bothered with the other Harry Potter movies either. I'll probably see Lone Ranger but I'm pretty positive that if it turns into another series, the audience for the sequels won't include me.

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    2. Yeah. Avatar stank, as did "The Avengers" if "Thor" was any indication.

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