That’s not to say the rest of the marketing hasn’t been good – it has. But while the trailer and poster are both outstanding the site lacks quite a bit and there’s no advertising or anything, meaning it’s not a hugely well-rounded push. There’s going to be a portion of the audience that sees the trailer in some context and decides to check it out but for the most part awareness and interest are, I’m guessing, going to be largely dependent on the word of mouth from early screenings and appreciation of the talent involved.
The campaign seems to admit that there’s going to be limited appeal for the movie. No big press push, no advertising and no web presence all speak to the fact that this is seen (rightly) as a small movie that’s going to be attractive to a small audience. Again, the small scale isn’t unusual for releases from either The Orchard or Netflix and when you add in that it’s a black and white movie with very little plot, no action and a couple of good actors who aren’t box-office draws, it’s all understandable.
Like the main character, it’s hard to connect with this campaign. It’s all done in shades of grey and blue and cold feeling. That’s what the studio is going for, sure, but it makes it kind of hard to feel any sort of emotion or strong call to action around the movie. The story that’s on display seems interesting and a nice twist on some general action drama elements but overall it creates something that seems kind of…generic isn’t quite the right word but certainly something that doesn’t make a lasting impression as being wholly unique.
The movie being sold looks very much in line with Guest’s previous movies. The tone and feel on display in the campaign here will be instantly familiar to fans of Best In Show, Waiting for Guffman and A Mighty Wind. So the objective here is apparently to turn out the legion of fans Guest has accumulated over the years. How much this will resonate with those outside that group remains to be seen.
There’s a lot to like about the campaign, even if it’s not a huge marketing push. While many of the elements are stylistically interesting, though, it’s not an easy movie that’s being sold here. The campaign promises a dark and unpleasant time at the theater, which isn’t an easy message to sell the audience. But as much of the press pointed out, stories of troubled males have been a staple of cinema for as long as there have been movies, so it’s about time more female stories made their way to the screen.