A Brief Lesson in Advertising, from Someone Who Doesn't Know Anything About Advertising


A lot of very bad decisions have been made concerning the promotion and release of the new Fantastic Four movie. For example, an early trailer, after cursorily identifying itself as an ad for Fantastic Four, quickly cuts to a voiceover saying "Five astronauts went into space." So right away you're confused.

Another big boner? Releasing the movie the weekend after Fourth of July Weekend. If you have a hyped-up summer superhero movie that has the word four in the title, why not go for the actual weekend of the Fourth of July?

Fortunately the movie company has attempted to solve this problem by teaming up with Comedy Central for some kind of Fourth of July special. Fine idea. And, as with all things Comedy Central, each commercial break has at least three ads for it (viz. Mind of Mencia, Stella, etc.). This may be a good point to pause and point out the principal cast of Fantastic Four:

An unknown boring white guy as Mr. Fantastic.
Another unknown boring white guy as the Human Torch.
The fat bald guy from The Shield as the Thing.
Jessica Alba, the hottest girl in the world, as the Invisible Woman.

Now, given that line-up of talent, coupled with the fact that Comedy Central's core audience is young horny men, which of the four would you choose to emphasize if you were charged with creating promotional spots for the Fourth of July Special? Jessica Alba, The hottest girl in the world? That's a good choice. Unfortunately, Jessica Alba appears exactly twice in the ad. She pops up at the very beginning, and by the time you're over the shock of seeing Jessica Alba they've cut to one of the unknown boring white guys. Jessica reappears for a few seconds a short time later, with her head lowered and her face covered by her hands. The balance of the ad emphasizes the fat bald guy, wearing sunglasses and waving a sparkler.

Never have I witnessed such egregious under-utilization of Jessica Alba. Comedy Central should sell South Park, Reno 911, and The Daily Show to a network that knows what the hell it's doing and then dissolve itself in shame.


Ahem, the Human Torch is the boring white guy from Not Another Teen Movie. And Cellular.

The Fantastic Four movie poster displayed in every MUNI station is similarly bad. It's a huge flaming "4", surrounded by a circle of flame. Underneath, it says, "Get Ready For The Fantastic". Now, I guess we're supposed to fill in the "Four" from above, only this slogan is on the bottom, so it's more like "Four Get Ready For The Fantastic", which is almost a rebus. Not to mention, it highlights how unexciting a word "fantastic" is, especially in the context of a PG-13 action movie.

Also, no Jessica Alba, who is also criminally wasted by playing a character that is [SPOILERS!] invisible [END SPOILERS!].

and this is a small point in relation to the alba crimes, but every time I see the poster I initially think it's an ad for a channel four news show because of the way the logo was created.

I just don't like their costumes. They might as well be on the the sci-fi channel.

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on June 30, 2005 11:20 PM.

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