Special Correspondents

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…the movie looks alright enough. It’s likely amusing to the level that it qualifies as a not-wasted 90 minutes or so spent in front of one monitor or another. That may sound like a low-bar to clear, but that’s where we are. There’s no real through-line to the campaign or any attempt at brand consistency since there are so few elements here to look at. And, as unfortunately usual, there’s no real attempt here to make an online-only release work especially well with online platforms.

Ratchet & Clank

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The campaign really does portray a consistent message, though. It wants the audience to know there’s nothing here that will challenge them in the slightest and that it’s instead just about the jokes and the sheep and the space explosions. There’s a strong component here that’s designed specifically to appeal to the gamer community that has made the game a hit but mostly it’s about making the case to seven year olds who like bright flashy movies like this. There’s even a couple instances where it calls out movies with animated animals that moralize about important issues that seems like a shot at Zootopia and so on. So the message here is it’s alright to come and enjoy the dumbness for an hour and a half.


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This is a really fun campaign and I like it a lot. Are there branding things I could argue with here and there? Sure, but overall there’s just such a fun spirit throughout the marketing that a lot of those concerns are wiped away because you just kind of get on board with it. While it’s not at all surprising I do think it’s super-smart that the campaign plays up the Key & Peele connection over and over again. Even if people aren’t a big fan, they’ve likely seen the Substitute Teacher sketch pop up in their Facebook feed at some point, so there’s going to be some recognition there, meaning it’s smart that this is being sold as essentially a feature-length sketch.

Mother’s Day


it sells a movie that is going to be appealing to a group that is just looking for a good life and a good cry. And it does all that while also promising the story never goes more than a sliver below the surface of those emotions. There’s no deep exploration of what it means to be a mother here, the campaign is saying, just a reaffirmation that we’re all trying as hard as we can as upper-middle-class white parents who would just like a glass of white wine and five minutes to ourselves, thank you very much.