Thursday, May 5, 2016

A bizarre corporate commitment to Smurfs 2

If you're one of those big box stores that sells TVs, meaning you have somewhere between 25 and 50 of them displaying images (usually the same images) at any given time, you have to figure out just the perfect images to showcase the desirability of those TVs.

JB HiFi here in Australia has chosen something great for those big TVs that curve -- these little looping travel promotions. If you aren't sure whether you want to shell out the ten grand or whatever for one of these TVs, seeing the Taj Mahal or Christ the Redeemer on it should help push you off the fence.

A lot of times, though, they just put it on a certain TV channel, something inoffensive that couldn't possible raise the hackles of even the most sensitive parent, or scare even the most milquetoast child. 

Our local Costco has tried to follow that logic, but instead of a TV station, they've chosen a movie.

And that movie is ... The Smurfs 2.

That's right, every single time I go to our local Costco, the TVs are playing The Smurfs 2. And I don't go all that often, which just means they've been doing this for even longer.

If you're going to go with a movie, presumably, you'd want to showcase something new, so you could sell people a BluRay in addition to a TV. But it has now been nearly three years since the theatrical release of Smurfs 2, meaning that it's been nearly three years minus three months since it came out on BluRay. I could see the promotion of this movie creeping into early 2014, but not mid-2016.

There's got to be some reason behind it. I mean, some reason that isn't just laziness.

If the idea is to put something on that's inoffensive -- in terms of subject matter, not quality -- but also not interesting enough for people to stop and watch for 25 minutes, I could see how Smurfs 2 would fit the bill. I didn't want to watch it for 25 minutes even when I was actually watching it with my son back in August of 2014. (Without actually having seen the original -- no wonder we didn't love it, ha ha.)

But if you're trying to show off what the TV can do in terms of visuals -- like the wise people at JB Hifi with their Taj Mahal -- then The Smurfs is a lousy choice. Oh, those digital blue creatures may look okay, but they hardly represent the pinnacle in cinematic visual achievement.

Wouldn't you prefer to go with something like Inside Out? Frozen? The Lego Movie? Or if live-action people interacting with digital creatures is for some reason the requirement, how about something like Paddington?

I've been to Costco twice this week -- once for a regular shop, once to exchange a pair of pants that I couldn't try on during that regular shop, which ended up being too small -- so my next visit is not likely to be all that soon. But if Gargamel, Smurfette and those other weird Smurfs Gargamel created are still adorning their TV screens on my next visit, I'm going to ask somebody about it.

I must get to the bottom of this. 

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