DAILY FILM DOSE: A Daily Film Appreciation and Review Blog: OPEN LETTER TO HOLLYWOOD: No More Red Font Eddie Murphy Posters!!

Thursday 26 June 2008

OPEN LETTER TO HOLLYWOOD: No More Red Font Eddie Murphy Posters!!

Dear Hollywood Marketing Execs:

I was driving the streets of Toronto yesterday, and drove past a bus with a giant banner advertising “Meet Dave” - a new family comedy with Eddie Murphy. As we all know Eddie Murphy’s late career work (save the “Dreamgirls" blip) has been either milking "Shrek" for Dreamworks, or starring in kid-friendly family pictures such as this.

The “Meet Dave” banner, which is probably being plastered in every major city in Canada and the U.S., features the big mug of Mr. Murphy over top of the title in bold red font against a white background. Just change the title and the expression on Eddie's face and you have the poster for every other kid flick he’s made since “The Nutty Professor”.

For some reason this annoys me to no end.

Of course, the distributor who markets the film (in the case of "Meet Dave", 20th Century Fox) wants grab it’s audience by whatever means necessary and pull them into the theatre. One of their tactics is to have the poster or other promotional material quickly identify with or remind its audience of other successful films of the same genre. That's why the "National Treasure" posters vaguely resembles the "The Mummy" posters. But with these Eddie Murphy films, the lack of creativity is simply ridiculous.

Let's look at these some of these posters side by side:

I am not the audience for “Meet Dave”, so why am I so bothered? Perhaps it’s the uncreativity of the marketing department, which charge large amounts of money against the production to create the worst example of template marketing. It’s also a shameful reminder of the dreck that Eddie Murphy is making his living on these days – but as evidenced by his work in “Dreamgirls” he can still act.

If these six films weren’t overkill enough, they're branding Ice Cube's family films the same way:

I have no problem with these films which I’m sure bring much laughter to six-year olds but out of respect for Mr. Murphy and everyone else that isn't six, change your marketing campaign. At the very least, change the colour of the font. Please.

Thank you for your attention,

Alan Bacchus


Unknown said...

here is a great commentary on the homogonization of movie marketing in terms of graphic design, especially the font Trajan. it is very funny check it out.
Trajan is the Movie Font

Anonymous said...

Alan, well said! Liberate Mr. Murphy from this unimaginative advertising!

Mike Kealy

Big Mike Mendez said...

It's like cereal boxes in the grocery store, it's meant to grab the attention of children, people who don't read the labels and everyone who doesn't care if its bad for them, they're going to have some anyways.

But, the attention grabbing qualities of red is not so bad. The other night at the LA Film Fest I was at a screening with Edgar Wright and Bill Hader and they both remembered me after because I wore a bright red shirt that said, "Winchester Pub Crouch End, London." So, I had that going for me. Which is nice.

Andrew D. Wells said...

Great letter, Alan. Something I wish I had caught onto and wrote about myself. People don't realize how much just the money being spent on marketing affects the quality of movies they see. When the studios release the budgets they spend on an individual movie, it usually does not include the marketing budget. The average marketing budget for all Hollywood films is more then the average production budget for a typical Clint Eastwood budget. That, albeit, is usually along the lines of an independent film, but just think of how the money they spend on marketing could affect a script by hiring just one good writer for just a fraction of the price tag. I didn't say that very well, but I hope you can follow my logic.