Will Deceptive Movie Marketing Bite the Entertainment Industry?

by on May 24, 2013

in Entertainment

At some point, I think that how studios are handling their movie marketing is getting interesting, as we’re fed lies and misdirected. But could this kind of marketing where thin with movie consumers and bit the studios in the ass if this kind of movie marketing continues? But when the bottom line counts more than the movie fan experience, well, now a days marketing has to be a wee bit tricky to get movie-goers in the seat.

While some marketing will overwhelm you with trailers, giving away too much about the movie than necessary, others will have trailers with scenes that never show up in movie. Below are a few examples of the marketing I’m talking about:

Ryan Gosling in Drive 2011Way back, 2011’s Drive (with Ryan Gosling) was marketed to look like a car chase movie, when in fact, almost all the high-speed car scenes were in the 90 to 120 second trailers. It was a truly good dramatic story about the driver’s life, for those who appreciate that kind of thing. But the marketing pissed off action movie fans all over the place. Nicolas Winding Refn directed.

Then there was the 2011 movie, Hanna. That too was marketed to look like an action flick, with “must see” action trailer clips. To the regular movie-goer, it looked like we were in store for a serious ass kicking action-fest, but instead, most of the action was in the teaser clips while movie-goers got an Alice in Wonderland personal “journey” of our main character. Joe Wright directed.
Again, movie fans took to the web and vented on the misdirect.

In both cases, if you looked at the director’s work resume, the cerebral stories you received might not have been such a surprise. If movie fans were properly marketed to, they wouldn’t have been so ticked off. But then again, the movies would not have possibly made as much money that first weekend either.

It’s a bit of a balancing act, whether a studio pitches an honest ad or one that will net you more money and risk consumer ire.

Iron Man 3 Story SPOILERS

Iron Man 2 had ads with scenes that were cut from the movie. That was interesting. Of late, the latest sham that got movie fans in an uproar was Iron Man 3.

Disney/Marvel marketed the living crap out of it and showed too many scenes in the teasers that should have been left as surprises.

Then there’s how they handled The Mandarin. Since the mid-60’s Stark and Mandarin have been going at it. So when fans heard he was the bad guy, along with Aldrich Killian, and the Extremis technology, I think franchise fans were pumped up.

And then franchise fans were blatantly slapped in the face with how this movie dealt with aspects of the franchise.

We got a sham of a representation of one of the most iconic bad guys in the Iron Man comic franchise. And the Extremis story came at us sideways, versus the franchise tale. And do not get me started on the spoiler-filled teasers about the Iron Legion armor in the movie and what Tony does to it.

So the marketing definitely misled fans.

Star Trek Into Darkness Mild SPOILERS

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine in Star Trek Into Darkness movie

Some marketing can be rather illogical!

With Star Trek into Darkness (An excellent movie), there were some movie clips and a few online rumors that were interesting.

When Into Darkness started filming, rumors were percolating that the bad guy was Kahn. Then J.J. Abrams and gang came out and said that it is not Kahn, the character’s name is John Harrison. Whoa, this sent people scrambling to figure that one out.

Then later, well, John Harrison was the fake name Cumberbatch’s character used until he revealed that he was Kahn.

Then there were the trailers. I thought we were seeing too much in the trailers. (Not as bad as Iron Man 3, but still, I was concerned.) But then, after seeing the movie, I felt like the trailers were brilliant!!!
But it’s hard to tell before you see a movie if you’re being spoiled or just properly teased by clips and trailers.


What we have with these few examples are complete misrepresentations of what we are walking into the theater to see. Two of the above examples left a serious disgruntled list of movie fans, (Drive, Hanna), confounded franchise fans (IM3), and a necessary redirect (Star Trek) to keep movie details fun and surprising!

If this kind of movie marketing keeps up, I have to wonder how much of it movie fans will take? I’m already treading on eggshells about movie trailers, news and supposed story detail leaks.

Are you getting suspicious or tired of all the marketing trickery? Or are you fine with it and don’t mind? I mean, when it all boils down to it, it is marketing. And that in and of itself is a form of “persuasion,” no matter how you look at it.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Paul May 26, 2013 at 11:27 am

I dont mind so much with a DVD or on Netflix, but paying $8+ to go to a movie which is nothing like the trailer would royally P*ss me off.

As you say people will eventually get very tired of this being messed around and start waiting for the DVD if they are not sure.

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