Which leaves us with the movie itself. It looks funny enough, though I question why it’s necessary to go so hard in the “drug-fueled” paint with a concept like this. The trailers, in particular, sell a movie that’s one-half “hilarious girl’s night out” and one-half “let’s dispose of the dead guy.” That can lead to a bit of an emotional disconnect in some parts of the campaign, but if you give in and go with it there’s potentially a good time in store here.
…I’m struggling with who this movie specifically is aimed at attracting. A child who was five years old in 2006 when the first movie came out is 15 or 16 now and…are they contemplating their own mortality. I get that characters have to evolve, but this seems more at someone my age than either current 3-8-year-olds or those who have grown up with the franchise. It just seems a little…dark. I’m sure it will be life-affirming and all that in the end, but from the mysterious teasers showing McQueen getting into a massive accident to those that explained the story of his chapter apparently coming to an end, this just seems like an oddly-toned campaign. Disney seems to be counting heavily on franchise-familiarity here and that might not be enough.
There aren’t any issues that come up in my mind regarding the tone and feel of the campaign. It’s great and while it may not pull people away from Wonder Woman or Cars 3, it works to sell the movie effectively. My only issue here is that there doesn’t seem to be enough of it, especially in the last couple weeks. I would have loved to have seen another trailer drop in the last few weeks or another poster released. It’s been two months or so since the official trailer hit and while there have been a few press pops here and there, nothing substantial has been released in the last month. That means there haven’t been the opportunities to keep the movie at the top of people’s awareness in a period when they’re making their moviegoing decisions and could hurt box-office prospects more than anything else about the campaign’s structure and feel.