good theory, executed poorly

a visual rant…

Avengers Banner Characters 3
Avengers Banner Characters 2

I just saw these images again, and they are a great example of good
theory, executed poorly:

They should have been more like:

Star Trek Poster Zachary Quinto
Star Trek Poster Chris Pine
Star Trek Poster Karl Urban

or for goodness’ sake, even these:

Thor Poster Chris Hemsworth
Captain America The First Avenger Poster Chris Evans
Cowboys And Aliens Poster

It seems like the element of withholding something, of hiding something, is what keeps it cool… Whether it’s via shadows or shading or actually hiding a portion of a face or expression. That’s what keeps singular images interesting.

And that’s exactly what’s lacking in the Avengers images. They are just flat, uninteresting images of these characters. It feels like sloppy marketing. Of those 8 characters, 7 of them are established (Hawkeye is not yet), 6 established with the current actors (Mark Ruffalo as Hulk hasn’t been yet), and 3 of them have been the main characters of their own individual movies already.

It’s almost as if Paramount knows they just need to slap an image of those characters on a banner and they’ll get attention. So I suppose on they don’t HAVE to put forth any more effort than that. And they know it. But it doesn’t seem like it would cost THAT much more to be interesting about it. Why must it be so lazy, or at least appear to be as such??

ETA: This becomes an even more interesting conversation in the wake of A) Avengers making SO much money and then of Guardians of the Galaxy.
The thing is, Marvel knows what they’re doing and they know what they can get away with. They didn’t need to have interesting marketing materials, with depth and intrigue, they just needed A LOT of them. We probably have half a dozen posters on different Event Horizon posts because no one could stop talking about The Avengers. And if the media attention and speculation died down, they released a new poster (all of them mixing and matching the same images). And it worked. The fervor and the constant attention made The Avengers the third highest grossing movie ever.

And with Guardians of the Galaxy, we see even more precisely that Marvel marketing knows what they need to do (and what they don’t). The initial Guardians trailers introduced the audience to the characters, they set the tone and the humor and they made sure you knew there’d be a talking raccoon. And it worked, Guardians made over $300M. With Avengers, as Kel mentioned above, they didn’t have to put that work in. Because they audience knew who these characters were and already liked them and was already excited for what this movie would be. Marvel marketing just had to keep people talking long enough to get them into the theater. And that worked too.


December 17, 2011 | Commentary , , | this post contains affiliate links

2 responses to “good theory, executed poorly

  1. aj

    I saw the new Avengers banners on Friday and was so unimpressed I didn’t even mention them in the Event Horizon this week. Especially since they’re just rehashes of the earlier banners, and not even improved rehashes.

    It’s interesting how much the concept of shadows and only being able to see a portion of someone comes into effective marketing. I’ve noticed on a lot of YA books the best covers don’t show you flat images of someone. They’re girls in profile or with their backs half turned, with shadows around their faces or swirling through their gorgeous dresses or whatever.

    I feel bad because I keep hoping with Joss at the helm the Avengers is actually going to be an interesting movie and he will have drawn out interesting aspects of these characters. But Paramount keeps marketing them in a very cartoonish fashion that doesn’t live up at all to what I’m expecting from the film. You’d think there’s be SO much more interesting things they could come up with! Especially given what they did with Thor and Captain America when they got it right, they really got it right.
    If we hadn’t already delved so much into how bad Paramount’s marketing is I’d be disappointed. But as it is, I agree they’re probably just being lazy and I know it’s just bad marketing and still have hope for the film.

  2. Lori

    Wow. Just, wow. I feel like they are trying to make it comic booky because the film is obviously not going to be what people expect and they’re trying to please everyone. But you know what happens when you do that. This looks like some high school kid’s photoshop project. Well put Kel and welcome!