Doing battle with daily dragons

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Hard Sell

Last night, due to the sweet psiren song of Orange Wednesdays, The Rock Star and I took in The Island; a film we wouldn’t normally have gone to see in the theatre were we not getting 2 for 1. In hindsight, it’s not a film we would have even RENTED.

My biggest pet peeve was not the botched script. Nor was it exceedingly bland performances from two actors I know to be capable of better. Nor was it the monstrous length. Nor was it even the reliance on huge explosions to make up for the aforementioned botched script. It was instead the hugely blatant use of advertising.

If I’m in the mood to watch a 90 minute long commercial, I’ll tune into the Home Shopping Network. If a filmmaker believes that I don’t know an ad for a Mercedes when I see one, they have another thing coming.

Some films have made the product placements work. I, Robot managed to sneak one in for Converse when Will Smith’s character picks up a “Vintage 2004” pair on-line. It blends into the script and gives it a little historical placement. Minority Report was blanketed in advertising but it all worked as it gave the impression of a society that was completely saturated with targeted marketing.

The Island employed Wayne’s World style piss-take product placement. To illustrate my point, I have put together a little visual aid.

If my blog had the same sort of corporate sponsorship as “The Island”, this is what it would look like.

And those are only the logos that showed up on the screen bigger than life. There might have been subliminal ones that managed to worm their way into my subconscious, but I’ve sent out my little Brain Manipulation Rangers™ who will be hunting them down without mercy.