Over at his site Ryan Anderson goes on a little mini-rant:
I’m getting sick of hearing “#1 Movie in America” in tv spots. Over the past 4 weeks, 4 different movies have been #1. And over the next 4 weeks, 4 different movies will be #1 (likely anyway). Will there be a movie between now and the end of the summer that stays on top for more than a week? I think so. Will there be more than one? Will the new STAR WARS have enough staying power to hold off Adam Sandler’s remake of THE LONGEST YARD?
But Ryan, don’t you know that’s an essential part of the marketing mix? Hyperbole, no matter how transparent, is necessary. I’m not saying it does any good since movies seem to live and die on word of mouth after their opening weekend, but it is necessary for the marketing team to produce these spots. That way they can add a promotion for the “#1” movie in America to their own portfolio and can pull that out when they’re looking for another job.
Seriously, my belief is that everyone knows that the “#1” ads don’t really do anything. We’ve seen time and time again that the most vacuous critically lambasted piece of shit can be the number one movie in the country on its opening weekend. The real purpose of these is for the studios to pat themselves on the back.
I also think that these promos are produced before opening weekend and then are aired simply to justify the cost of creating them. There’s no other reason for it. True, there are some lemmings in the audience who will say, “___ was the number one movie this weekend? It must be great and I will go see it immediately.” Those people are also swayed by ads for the leading toothpaste, cereal and laundry detergent despite research showing brand loyalty is created at a young age and continues into adulthood.
My advice is to let the “#1” ads fade into the white noise that permeates most programming.
*If America is defined to only include my office cubicle.