Movie Marketing

MMM Recap: Baywatch, Pirates of the Caribbean, War Machine

Baywatch

There’s some good stuff here. The trailers are fairly funny and sell a movie that is just the sort of action comedy that audiences seem to be looking for in recent years. The plot isn’t super-important and is used sparingly, just as an occasional hook to explain why Johnson and Efron are dressing in drag, why they’re chasing people across the beach and so on. The focus is instead on those two leads and the clashing dynamic between them along with in-jokes for anyone who may have watched the original series or who knows it through subsequent pop culture references.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Putting all that aside, as difficult as it may be, the movie being sold here is basically the same one that’s been sold to us three times previously. But Chris, you’re asking, this is the fifth movie? Yeah, I know. But the marketing of the original was so genuinely unexpected and fun that I’m only really considering the campaigns for the increasingly bloated and ridiculously conceived sequels. This sells more of the same, just a thrill ride with some amusing characters that has more ludicrous twists and turns than a drunk riding a scooter through the Alps. The campaign sells a good time at the theater, but it also hints at a mess that takes itself far too seriously even while it asks the audience to laugh at the goings-on.

War Machine

This looks like it could be pretty fun. The campaign as a whole sets the movie up as a satire based on recent events in the vein of Wag The Dog and other stories that throw shade at the combination of politics and the military. That’s not to say war is funny – that’s not the point of the marketing here – but it wants to weigh in on the absurdity of not just war in general but also the specific war America has been fighting for going on two decades with no end in sight.

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