Something interesting has popped up in the wake of Speed Racer’s sub-expectation performance at the box-office. Warner Bros. now finds itself in the position of needing to appease promotional partners that got far less exposure than they were hoping for by attaching themselves to the movie. The studio could even wind up offering “make goods” to those partners to get them the level of audience exposure they had been promised when it looked like Speed Racer was predicted to be a hit.
Make goods are common in the television world when shows that are promised at the upfront as potentially huge successes wind up flopping, resulting in a lot of bought and paid for ad time that never winds up happening or doesn’t reach the audience guaranteed by the network. They’re just one reason I believe the upfront model to be flawed.
The problems with maintaining partner relationships are going to be much more prevalent for those who paid for placement in the movie itself than with those who just did co-branded advertising deals.
The Better Business Bureau has referred two ads from Paramount Pictures that aired during shows with audiences mostly under 12 to the MPAA for investigation as to whether the studio violated the agreement not to advertising PG-13 movies to young kids.
An ad for Drillbit Taylor that ran during “Zoey 101″ on Nickelodeon and an Iron Man that aired during “Zoey” and “Drake & Josh” are the ones being specifically questioned.
The discussion of what sorts of movies are appropriate to advertise to kids is an ongoing one. The MPAA will, presumably, take all the facts into consideration and then probably not do anything at all.
Men’s Vogue has a short feature up on the maker of the Adventurebuilt, the fedora made by hat maker Stephen Delk first as a challenge for himself and then in the big show, becoming the supplier of hats to the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull shoot.
Poster artist Drew Struzan receives a loving profile in the Los Angeles Times on his long history of creating one-sheet artwork for the Indiana Jones and Star Wars franchises as well as countless other films. Struzan even addresses the issue of not making Ford look any younger than he actually is. I especially love director Frank Darabont’s comments about how Struzan’s artwork “honors your film instead of just merely trying to sell it.”
The LAT also talks about the push Paramount made to make Indy 4 appealing to kids who might not be familiar with the franchise. It’s also taking the tack of enticing parents who grew up on the earlier movies to bring their kids to introduce them to the hero and the movies. Of course that kid-focused campaign has found some detractors, such as the one Jeffrey Wells points to who takes Paramount to task for so many fast food tie-ins, partnerships which the complainer feels is doing nothing but contributing to the glut of obese kids.
The movie has prompted Paris’ Quai Branly Museum to pull out its own crystal skull despite the fact that it knows it has no ties to Aztec culture and was created sometime pretty recently as a fake that took advantage of the mythology that had sprung up around the skulls.
ClickZ gives Paramount’s Facebook efforts for the movie under the microscope and finds the studio did a pretty good job of marketing the film there. The movie’s fan page signed up over 62,000 fans just prior to release and all 250,000 Indy Fedoras that were offered as gifts the day before opening sold out in a matter of hours.