When you see promotional stunts like this (kindly brought to my attention by The Guardian), it definitely is attention grabbing. Not sure I would probably remember what film it was for and it probably wouldn’t induce me to shell out a few quid to see it (translation : part with some cold, hard cash :-)
While there is amusement in watching the video and it probably had some of the intended effect, it made me respect all the more some of the clever thinking and campaigns of the past. Now I’m not being nostalgic, far from it. It just seems like smart thinking is often overlooked and it would be great to see some of that recaptured today.
Guess I am showing my age if I reveal I remember the promotional poster campaigns for films such as Alien, Ghostbusters, Total Recall and Independence Day? Don’t say it… :-)
Many things we take for granted today did not exist or were not regularly available to the masses at the time of some of these campaigns. Teaser trailers on the web, preview web sites, mobile phones, Facebook, etc, are just a few of the avenues used now that weren’t available then. That meant creating excitement and interest outside of the movie theatre was left to that venerable medium of print and posters.
The films I mentioned earlier really used this medium well, giving just enough of a hint to pique the curiosity and, whether you liked these films or not, they were all definite successes. Makes you realise an art has been lost here. When you consider that joe public probably spends more time wandering by billboards, advertising hoardings, buses, stations and all manner of advertising spaces than looking at their phones or the web, this seems to be a golden opportunity missed for savvy promoters and advertisers.
Of course they can’t paste up any old rubbish and expect to differentiate and elevate awareness in our minds. This seems to be where most advertising seems to fall in the category of now despite the plethora of media available. So let’s tip our hats to some of the wiley promoters and advertisers of the past and say to them, “come back, you’re needed now more than ever”.