Movie Time:How Jude Law & Guy Ritchie might class up theatre ads
The other day I was visiting the big city and thought I’d treat myself to a movie. After enduring a line-up that would cause even a Disneyland regular to beg off, I was eventually able to secure the requisite ticket and snacks (Wide-load Combo #3) before going in search of a seat. Gingerly, I made my way down the aisle, carefully balancing my laundry hamper-sized tub of popcorn alongside the veritable moonshine jug of soda angled perilously against my chest. Thanks to my inability to speedily evolve a third hand, I simply kicked the comically large box of Junior Mints ahead of me on the floor. As I took my seat the lights dimmed almost immediately. “Right on time,” I thought. “Perfect.” Except I wasn’t. No word of a lie, I proceeded to sit through more than twenty solid minutes of commercials. And I’m not talking movie trailers here. I mean good-old, regular TV ads selling things like soap, soup, selzer and savings accounts.
Now, considering my own decidedly unhinged affection for all things commercial, you know they’ve gone too far when even a loon like me can’t take it. It was ludicrous. Twenty minutes? Straight? That’s almost water-boarding territory when you consider the patience of average folks. Think about it. Thanks to today’s PVRs we’ve switched our commercial realities. We aren’t forced to watch commercials at home but in a theatre we’re rendered helpless captives in search of a remote. We have little choice but to pay attention or cover our eyes and start chanting “La, la, la, la. La, la, la, la.”
The sad thing is that the first movie commercials were cooler. They were bigger. More film-y. More super terrific. Those displayed for me were just stupid TV ads repurposed. I hate when advertisers go cheap. Sell me, but sell me well. Spend some money to show me how great you are. James Cameron did. If advertisers want to invade movie houses then they should too.
Now Dior gets it. These fancy lads know what they have to do and how. If they want any hope of suckering folks into shelling out mucho dinero for jars of cologne not a whole heck of lot different than Old Spice they better be able to sell the crap out of it. Clearly, their new ad for Dior Homme fits the bill on that count.
First off, it’s like a movie, not an ad. Actually, it’s more a short film if you’d rather be pretentious, but whatever it is it stars Jude Law and some English-as-a-second-language fashion model. And it’s not Jude Law just standing there saying “buy this” but Jude law acting. Oh yeah, and Mr. Law is “acting” his ass off. Forceful eyes, dashing asides, serious face tightening, sly looks sideways – and in the mirror. He’s doing it all. Add in the fancy clothes, the fancy sets, the exotic locale – the whole shebang and you know it’s no mere “TV spot” – it’s a event. They even shanghaied Guy Ritchie (he of Snatch, Sherlock Holmes, and Madonna, fame) to direct the proceedings. Now that’s advertising for the movie crowd. Big budgets, big stars, killer looks, overwrought music. That’s what you want to see when you’re stuck in a room with four hundred sweaty strangers and a rapidly filling bladder.
The ad itself is basically incomprehensible. I’ve watched it a good fourteen or fifteen times and I still can’t really make head or tails of it. But who cares? It looks awesome, and important, and BIG. It looks like something is happening and that’s kind of a must when the object is to convince a room full of corn-crunching slack jaws to run out and drop a hundred bucks on smelly (but likely distilled) water.
Is it really too much to ask that advertisers recognize the inherent duty they have when it comes to big screen advertising? They must know that it’s just not enough that they simply re-purpose their existing TV ads to fit the big screen. Advertisers have to suck it up and start making “movie ads” directly for the big screen. It’s only fair. Besides, it’s in their best interests to start doing this anyway. Christian Dior knows how hard they have to work if they want to sell buckets of expensive odor blocker folks inevitably wash off a few hours later. Imagine what Cheetos might be able to charge if they started going after my business in a big, movie-size way? I might not be rubbing cheese dust behind my ear but then again, stranger things have happened.