Tag Archives: marketing

SDCC, Universal, and Not-Produced-Here Syndrome

It’s funny how some companies will go out of their way to avoid acknowledging the competition. Universal Studios has a panel at Comic-Con promoting the movies Paul and Cowboys and Aliens. Here’s how they describe Paul and its part of the panel:

Paul—  Scheduled to appear for Universal Pictures’ sci-fi comedy-adventure Paul are a who’s who of film comedy. Director Greg Mottola (Superbad) will be joined by cast members Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), Kristen Wiig (Date Night), Bill Hader (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover), Joe Lo Truglio (Role Models), Seth Rogen (The Green Hornet), and Sigourney Weaver (Baby Mama) as they discuss the movie about two sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage to Comic-Con ultimately takes them to America’s UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who takes them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. Q&A session to follow.

Does anyone really think that the Comic-Con audience will best remember Sigourney Weaver for a supporting role in Baby Mama? (I didn’t even know she was in it.)

Not, say, her starring role in the Alien series?

Ripley would like to have a word with someone...

Or if you want to go for something more recent, it’s only been half a year since Avatar.

Or heck, since it’s a sci-fi comedy about fans and conventions, how about Galaxy Quest?

See, they don't think it makes sense either.

Guess what? Those movies weren’t produced by Universal. Baby Mama was.

Talk about underselling the guests! That’s like promoting that you’ve got Harrison Ford from Sabrina!

I see it in comic books as well, though not quite to this extent. DC, when it realizes that someone is best-known for their work at Marvel or somewhere else, will at least mention the fact…but they always seem to want to downplay it. Standard practice is to put the DC titles in all-caps and anything else in standard title case. For example: Flash: Emergency Stop by “Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS) and Mark Millar (Civil War),” or Superman: Earth One by “J. Michael Straczynski (BRAVE AND THE BOLD, Thor, Babylon 5).”* It always leaves the impression that they’ve kind of hoping that, even though they’re banking on the name recognition, you won’t really notice.

*Ironically, Babylon 5 was produced by another subsidiary of Warner Bros….and the licensed comic books were published by DC.

Status, Android C&D and Marketing

  • From @lol_spam:

    Spam subject: “Your decent watch will upgrade your status.” You mean I won’t need my phone to update Facebook? AWESOME! #

  • WTF? Google C&Ds Android modder Cyanogen. Isn’t it supposed to be licensed open-source in the first place? # The cease-and-desist order is about Google’s apps (Maps, Gmail, etc.) that are pre-installed, not about the operating system itself, but still, it feels like a violation of the spirit if not the letter of the license.
  • Odd: it took 3 hours for my shoulder to get sore after the flu shot. Still, NOTHING compared to last year’s tetanus shot. Now THAT hurt! #
  • This XKCD comic reminds me of the “uranium-free pizza” joke from some scouting event way back when. #

Wild Things of Irvine

The Village, a disturbingly-named apartment complex across from the Irvine Spectrum shopping center, has been advertising in the nearby area for a couple of years using the slogan, “A new meaning for…” with various images and phrases. For a while, the following photo and caption seemed to be everywhere:

Blonde woman lifting her head out of a swimming pool, giving a "come hither" look.
A New Meaning For Heated Pool

A not-terribly-subtle example of the advertising maxim, “sex sells.” Somewhere along the line I decided she looked like Rebecca Romijn, and dubbed her Mystique.

Eventually I realized what the photo reminded me of: the promotional images for the movie Wild Things:

Neve Campbell and Denise Richards lifting their heads out of a swimming pool.

The apartments have removed the image from their website (you can still find it on the Internet Archive), but it’s still all over the shopping center kiosks. So while watching Beowulf there, it seemed somehow appropriate when Grendel’s mother struck the same pose:

Grendel’s mother (digital Angelina Jolie) lifting her head out of a pool