…the main message of the campaign is that people should come and see the new movie from that TV show everyone at work has been telling them they need to binge and catch up on. There are a lot of elements of the marketing that will turn people off; Heck, many may turn away when they see a clock that’s all screwed up. Those that stick around are promised a twisty period piece that may not offer all the answers but will give them something to chew on after it’s over.
Here’s what’s striking to me about the campaign: Emma Watson is right there front and center throughout all of it. In an age when we’re having endless (and still necessary) conversations about strong female characters and how female actors tend to get less attention than their male costars, it’s great to see STX has leaned into having her as the face of the campaign from beginning to end. Sure, Hanks is there, but he’s positioned (likely rightly) as the supporting character in the story. You can’t not put him in the marketing, but not only is he positioned as secondary, but it makes little effort to hide the fact that he’s playing kind of a conniving…if not bad guy at least someone who runs counter to the wonderfully nice guy the actor is usually known for. I want more of Hanks on the wrong side of the morality tale and more of Watson as the unquestioned lead in a movie.
The movie as a whole looks funny in an offbeat, slightly low key kind of way. That’s not unexpected considering Marino’s comedic history, especially with The State and as a collaborator of David Wain whose movies can generally best be described as “offbeat, slightly low key.” There’s certainly a funny movie being sold here, but it’s honestly going to be hard to sell a movie that’s half in Spanish and which doesn’t feature a big, mainstream name (other than Hayek) in the cast to the audience that keeps going to see The Fate of the Furious.