Day Thirty-Six – Misleading Trailers and Ads

5 02 2010

The new Red Band trailer for Kevin Smith’s Cop Out has been released. For those who don’t know what Red Band means, it’s essentially a restricted trailer than can’t be shown in most theatres since all of the swearing, sex and violence is included.

With that in mind, see the trailer below if you can stomach the language and edgy themes:

Funny, right? Now, try and tell me it’s the same movie as the Green Band trailer below.

They look like completely different movies!

The audience that walks into the movie from the Green Band trailer is almost guaranteed to be a different one than the Red Band. That is, aside from those who know director Kevin Smith’s work. I fully realize that the goal of making a movie is to get as many people in the theatre as possible, but there should be some sort of disclaimer if a trailer is going to be that misleading.

Think of all the angry movie-goers who expected PG-13 night at the movies, only to be berated by the lewdness that a Kevin Smith movie brings. I’m a fan of it, but I know for sure my parents wouldn’t be into it.

They would be into the movie the Green Band trailer claims Cop Out is.

This isn’t the only case of misdirection I’ve seen recently. On Tuesday, Amelia was released on DVD. The movie completely tanked in theatres and the marketing changed when Amelia was brought to DVD. It looks like a romantic comedy more than a long, drawn-out drama.

The goal here is to swindle you into buying the DVD, regardless of whether you shut it off 20 minutes in or not. Cop Out has a different goal. They want the word of mouth to create buzz so people will go see it a bunch of times.

Avatar did this some how, and though Cop Out will likely be much more modest, the hope is that people will see it more than once. My mom would probably leave in the first ten minutes and forbid anyone she knows from subjecting themselves to it.

I think in this day and age, with word that can be spread so quickly, you’re better off being truthful to your audience. I want Cop Out to do well and selling the movie for what it is will give it the best chance of doing so.

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