Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Some silly notions of promotion

So I went to an advanced screening of The Night Before on Monday night (it doesn't come out here until Thursday), and was greeted in the lobby by three dudes with oversized heads.

The oversized heads were those of the three main characters in the movie, played by Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie.

It's not like oversized novelty heads are completely unheard of, but I feel like they're something that would have gone out in the 1990s. Or if they hadn't gone out, then at least they would be reserved for use with characters we know and love, like Darth Vader or Batman. Oversized heads of actors, only one of whom (Rogen) has what you would call a distinct look, seems like a funny choice indeed -- especially when it's anything but clear that this film will be a hit and give these characters an ongoing presence in popular culture. (It took in less than $9 million on its second weekend of release in the U.S., bringing the total to just over $24 million.)

Then the oversized heads were actually giving out t-shirts. At least, I assumed they were t-shirts. They looked smaller than your average t-shirts, and all I saw in the scrunched up balls of fabric in their regular-sized hands was the color white. But when I put up my hand to try to claim one, Oversized Anthony Mackie confused my intentions and came over to slap me five.

Then on each seat there was a postcard-sized advertisement for a Seth Rogen-inspired donut that had been created by a placed called Doughnut Time. Not just inspired, but actually named "The Seth Rogen." Mind you, this was not a card offering you a free "Seth Rogen donut" if you went to Doughnut Time -- it was just announcing its existence. As I said, there was one on every seat in the theater, even though probably only half of them were in use. What a waste of paper.

I will say, however, that I appreciated the fact that everyone got a complimentary ice cream upon entering. Typically it would be popcorn or maybe a soda, but I assume someone thought ice cream was more "stonery."

All in all, a promotional mixed bag.

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