Friday, November 02, 2007

Movie Marketing is Hard! "Beowulf" and "300"

[Hello, Defamer readers.]

Another in our series, titled "Movie Marketing is Hard!", illustrating the lack of creativity amongst studio ad campaigns.
Zack Snyder's "300" made a lot of money. How much money, you ask? $450 million. Of course, if you asked the marketing geniuses at Paramount behind the "Beowulf" ad campaign, I'm sure they would have corrected me, and answered "$456,068,181, domestic plus global."

Why would the Paramount marketing team know this fact so intimately? Well, it's clear that they've been studying the ad campaign for "300" very carefully. Among many stylistic and clear similarities between each films' trailers, here are a few highlights:


Both trailers have the lead, bearded, warrior hero, in closeup, loudly proclaiming that "THIS! IS! SPARTA!", or, "I! AM! BEOWULF!"




Each trailer has an anachronistic guitar-riff-filled montage of violence, wrapped up with our warrior hero proclaiming something about "TONIGHT..."




And, most obviously, each trailer's graphics are rough, bold, blood red, and set against time-lapse clouds with lightning bursts.





Sure, there are some broad, thematic similarities to both pictures. But the "Beowulf" trailer is clearly trying to mimic the success of the "300" campaign, with no attempt at subtlety or, perhaps, advancing on the style that "300" created. There are several different ways to market a film. It takes a gargantuan lack of creativity to simply carbon-copy a previously successful campaign.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Beowulf poster also bears a striking reminiscence of the one for Ultraviolet...

jbees said...

Having worked in motion picture marketing, I can tell you that studio marketing folks are cautious and extremely risk-adverse. They almost always go with what has worked before. Copying a successful campaign directly is a safe bet. If the movie bombs they can say, "Hey, we copied the 300 campaign and that movie grossed 300 million. It ain't our fault." Shift the blame and CYA are the corporate American way. Ingenuity, innovation, and novelty are liabilities to be avoided.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog post on this. I LOVE that you have videos and not all stills. Anyway, when I saw the Beowulf trailer, I didn't think it looked or felt anything like 300. Looking at your comparison, it is obvious that they did copy the same format...just wasn't obvious to me until people started saying that it reminded them of the 300 trailer.

Movie Mad said...

The ads are very similar but 300 is slightly better, same can be said for the film trailers 300 has the edge. The films: I loved 300 it was a great film lots of action and even though you know the story and the ending it did not detract from the film, Beowulf is a little too CGI and the acting was not really top notch from, maybe it was script faults but even on the trailer when Ray declares I am Beowulf the accent seems strained and false.

Anonymous said...

FOCKING AWESOME

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