This official tweet dropped yesterday from “Batman v Superman” director, Zack Snyder:
Confirmed 4.20.15 #BatmanvSuperman @IMAX special teaser screening events. Limited space. RSVP http://t.co/TasYGlJGighttps://t.co/fnxFIERUlv
— ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) April 16, 2015
After watching the embedded video, I assumed fans would be annoyed that Snydley put a couple Bwwwaaaammm music inserts behind two costumes and a logo and called it awesome, but I was so wrong. Twitter treated this tease to get tickets for a trailer as the holy grail of marketing strategies.
So am I the cynic here? I have to be, right?
Speaking first to the teases, had someone told me this was a fan teaser I would’ve thought, “Oh, nice job.” A little on the nose, but nice work overall. But the fact that this is coming from the same team that put those brilliant “Man of Steel” teasers together — remember, the little boy with a cape running through some clotheslines? That teaser that was better than the entire movie? — I’m floored. How does that team think Bwwwaaaammm and a logo is good enough? And how am I the only fan who’s shaking their head at this?
To be clear, I’m super excited for this movie. In fact, on the right day, this is actually a project I’m looking forward to more than J.J.’s “Star Wars,” or Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland.” I even tried to get tickets to this trailer event because I can’t wait to see these guys on the same IMAX screen, punching each other in the nose, and looking majestic on some city building. Even if it’s only for 2 minutes, I’d make that drive to my local theater. But there’s something so condescending about the way Hollywood is making fans jump through hoops to get marketing material. I don’t know. Maybe it’s genius.
I know I’m getting a bit off topic here, but there are two marketing ideas floating around these days that don’t sit well with me. They don’t both totally apply to this BvS tweet, but I’ve already started down this tunnel so there’s no stopping me now.
The first is that studios need to protect the fan from ruining their movie experience. Not only do studies refute this is even accurate, but fans who don’t want to be spoiled don’t read spoilers. And how much of an ass do you have to be to tell your paying customers how they need to experience something. Restaurants don’t only serve you the fish if you promise to get the correct wine and sip it after every bite. You don’t need to put fans on a bumper bowl lane, and yes you do need to tell consumers about the product before they buy it. J.J. Abrams is probably the worst offender of this, and even though he admits he went too far trying to conceal Khan from audiences, his marketing strategies for “Star Wars” are a carbon copy of “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
The second idea is that consumers want to perform tricks before they’re rewarded. This is usually some social media strategy that includes liking a post or retweeting something enough times to earn a first look at some costume or 10-second scene. It’s like we’re lab rats who won’t appreciate a piece of cheese unless we’ve first run through an electricity-laced maze. And that’s the nice version of this idea. The more cynical view is that this line of marketing has nothing to do with consumer satisfaction, but it’s more in-line with an owner insisting their dog beg before they can eat the treat sitting on their nose.
I don’t know. Like I said, I tried to get tickets to this. I love the anticipation of a great experience sometimes more than the experience itself. I get countdown clocks, and buy tickets to mediocre movies just so I can see the right trailer on the big screen. But this painfully generic tease for some tickets for a trailer you can see online the next day is acting more as a reminder of how little Hollywood thinks of its consumers than it is a checkpoint to awesomeness.
But then again, maybe this whole rant stems from the fact that I haven’t had my coffee yet this morning.