We all have regrets, right? Things we wish we’d said “yes” to or even things we wish we’d said “no” to. Life moves by and we try to make the best decisions possible but hindsight often shows that each of those decision moments has long-lasting repercussions. Some of us take things to an extreme, never trying anything new or trying everything that flits in front of our eyes in an effort to not miss out any one possibility.
Yes Man, the new Warner Bros. movie starring Jim Carrey, is about a man who starts off on one extreme and then over-compensates by moving to the exact opposite direction. His character declines seemingly every opportunity and invitation that’s presented to him, afraid to move outside his comfort zone at all. Then he attends some sort of motivational seminar that encourages him to say “yes” more and he takes it to said extreme, deciding to take lessons, do things he never dreamed of and in general go crazy.
The premise is, obviously, not all that high-minded. But that’s all right since Yes Man is very much about allowing for a little bit of audience vicarious wish-fulfillment as they enjoy watching Carrey in a variety of ridiculous situations. So let’s look at how the studio is marketing this seemingly tailor-made bit of escapist entertainment to the masses.
Just one poster seems to have been produced. That one shows Carrey skipping through a field looking care-free and unencumbered by the weight </bobseger> of anything in the world. It pegs the movie pretty clearly as being in the “Funny” category of Carrey’s filmography.
It also contains nothing about the story, nothing about the character and indeed just about nothing in general. The entire message of the poster is that there is a new Jim Carry movie coming out and that people should be attracted by his exuberant behavior. It requires no thought of any sort and just requires blind obedience to that call.
The first trailer for the movie presented something that was likely designed to most closely resemble a movie everyone would feel comfortable seeing. Even moreso than something like Wild Hogs, this is designed to be a crowd-pleaser.
The first hints of the depths about to be plumbed are dropped as the trailer opens on a series of oh-so-cute babies throwing attitude and saying “no” to everything. That then transitions to Carrey’s character, who is such a stick-in-the-mud he says “no” to any proposition that’s thrown his way. But attending some sort of motivational conference encourages him to say “yes” to every opportunity and more fully explore his life. That’s the basic excuse for then getting Carrey to do a bunch of wacky stuff like bungee jump, fly a plane and, apparently the epitome of reckless behavior, drink Red Bull.
It’s a definite return to more vintage Carrey antics and your acceptance of the trailer is dependent on your tolerance for his mugging, so be warned.
The second trailer was essentially more of the same. We start off this time at the self-help seminar and are introduced to Carrey’s character once again as someone who turns down most invitations life throws at him, though this time we’re shown fewer examples of that happening. But there follows the same assortment of clips and sequences of him acting all sorts of goofy in his efforts to have more fun and embrace life a little more. The love interest played by Daschnel is given just as little time as in the first stop, though this time through different footage.
The official website opens with a bit of animation of Carrey bungee-jumping and things like that before moving into a trailer that I had never seen before. It actually winds up being pretty effective since it more closely follows, it seems, the arc of the movie’s story. It’s not all that different in content from what has come before but it’s arranged a bit differently and works pretty well. Be warned, though: It keeps auto-playing if you don’t click elsewhere after it ends the first time.
The first section available through the top menu is “Story” where you’ll find a brief write-up about the movie’s story and some of the main cast and crew.
There are about 10 stills, most from scenes we saw in the trailers, in “Photos” and the usual assortment of Wallpapers and Buddy Icons as well as the Poster and a Screensaver in “Downloads.”
There are also sections titled “eCards” and “Bobblehead” but both of those are labeled as still coming soon. Just for the record it’s Thursday when I’m writing this, the day before the movie opens. Wow.
And that’s it. No, I’m serious. No Cast & Crew sections. No production notes. No additional video. No links to a Facebook page or anything like that.
My initial instinct when I’m presented with this spectacular lack of content is that the studio just didn’t care. And certainly the fact that 1/3 of the sections aren’t completed the day before it hits theaters would lend credence to that idea.
But instead it occurs to me that the Internet is just not seen as where this movie’s audience is going to be hanging out. So why beef up the web presence if that’s the case? On the one hand that’s a sound business strategy that is actually appropriate to some campaigns. On the other hand it’s a slap in the face to anyone who might be online and trying to find information about the movie. It’s more than a little shocking that a big release from a major studio would get this sloppy an online effort.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
There were a few TV spots that followed the same basic outline as the trailers but that’s about all I saw. To my knowledge there was limited online advertising done.
Media and Publicity
The cast did the media rounds and there were a few stories about the movie, but it’s not exactly being turned into an “event” film in any way shape or form.
What. The. Heck. What’s the logic here in not supporting a movie starring Jim Carrey, one of the biggest movie stars of the last decade or so, with a more comprehensive campaign? What’s the logic in not doing more to promote it as holiday entertainment? What’s the logic in essentially ignoring the need to create an actual website for the movie that contains more than a smattering of it’s marketing content.
That lack of support creates the impression, rightly or wrongly, that the studio sees this as a pre-Christmas mid-tier release that they’re just trying to ride the wave on. Hopefully, it seems, enough people will have seen the poster while walking through the theater hallways to and from a screening of Four Christmases and that success will logically follow. Doesn’t seem like a solic strategy to me, but that’s what it looks like from the outside.