Tuesday, August 04, 2009

G.I. Joe... A "Real American" Marketing Campaign?

Well, I've been reading some interesting things about the current marketing campaign for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

What I am gathering is people like me, the slightly pretentious, pop culturally obsessed geek/blogger, are not the ones being targeted by the current advertising/marketing initiative, because let's face it, our community is predisposed to not like this movie. We have our memories of G.I. Joe from when we were kids, and a lot of us hold them sacrosanct (not me mind you, but I am sure I have readers who know these people online... I've certainly run into them), and even if it was an adaptation of the same quality of say Iron Man, well, there would still be a lot of carrying on about how it doesn't live up to expectation. The fact that the movie didn't have a presence at the most recent Comic-Con is evidence of this as well.

Indeed, it seems that another segment of the population is being targeted instead... middle America. I know most blockbusters are supposed to target these people anyway, but what I've been reading is the focus is almost entirely on these potential movie goers, with segments inserted into Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts, the Country Music Television Awards and various other entertainment venues which skew to a particular segment of the population. If I was going to really overgeneralize, I would say that they are trying to make this a Red State phenomenon, which would be sort of funny given the fact that for the international market, the ads are really downplay the Team America mindset, which doesn't really seem like something that would play well in the Deep South).

And having the movie have a sneak preview showing at Andrews Air Force Base also seemed inspired with this in mind, as that is some good press right there both in general and for that particular demographic... though I think that the movie would have been high on the list of summer movies that servicemen wanted to see anyway.

I know this whole exercise is designed to produce the maximum amount of money at the box office, but part of this makes me feel like, I don't know, I won't like it, or that it is a bad movie. When the most prominent critic to see it so far is Harry Knowles, it raises some red-flags. It almost feels like despite all the money they are spending on marketing, everything about this movie is standoffish. And trust me, I want to like this movie, but all signs are pointing to a no on this one for me.


Arjan said...

inclined to agree.
But I wíll watch it :)

MC said...

Well, there is the inevitable Baroness related fantasies to explore...

Semaj said...

F'ing great post there, MC. I didn't know about the Comic Con thing, and that connects to Paramount not showing this movie to critics. (Which I posted about too)

You're right there seems to be a heavy focus on the Red States. And, given that GI Joe was always more focused on Sci-fi and monster elements than what Red Staters care about boggles my mind (I hate using Boggle)

I think they know the greek/blogger groups know there was a lot of trouble with the movie and aren't going to see it. So why not focus on the Joe the Plumber types?

Again, you bring up some great points.

MC said...

I've read that the studio is expecting us to show up no matter what, so they don't need to market to us.