he campaign sells a movie that’s funny in a gentle way. Field obviously goes for broke in her performance, though we can obviously have a conversation about how she’s asked to dress down and look even older than she actually is for the role. But it looks like a touching, sweet movie that tells a story about being true to yourself while also taking risks and going outside your comfort zone. That’s a story that many of us, regardless of age or gender, can likely relate to. If that’s what’s actually behind the campaign, count me in.
So what’s being sold here? A smart, funny and interesting movie that asks some questions about how we’re relating to the people around us. While the AR aspect of the story may seem divorced from today’s reality it’s really just a couple of degrees from where we are now with apps and Google Glass and other tools. If the movie, as I’m guessing it does, leans into the part of how that technology really impacts how we form and maintain relationships and doesn’t just focus on the technology itself then this could be very compelling as a cautionary tale.
The campaign sells a movie that’s a touching story of brotherly love and devotion that’s wrapped inside a spy caper because, essentially, it allows for more gags. Cohen is clearly the star here but Strong is a big part here as well, even if it seems most of his role is going to be reacting to Cohen’s antics. There seems to be a concerted effort here on the part of the marketers to make the movie timely through the inclusion of Bill Cosby jokes and comments in the press about Donald Trump gags as well. Those traditionally don’t age well so it might be that they’re playing up a small element of the movie in order to make headlines for the movie. Outside of that this is a funny campaign for a movie that, honestly, might actually seem a bit slight in the current theatrical atmosphere.
The marketing here sells just the kind of movie. While we get certain plot details the campaign doesn’t explain why Howard thinks the way he does, much less whether he’s right or not. And unlike the campaign for 2008’s Cloverfield, which continually sold a new take on a kaiju story, this one is more focused on the psychological ramifications of a massive event happening. It’s a much more intimate story but one that’s no less frightening. As the campaign states over and over, monsters come in all shapes and it’s done a good job of both selling the movie in a straight-forward manner and, for those playing along with the online elements, creating a sense of anticipation to see what’s next for the world we first visited eight years ago.