Nathan Macintosh

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Cross Promotion in movies. Needed?

It's been happening for years. McDonald’s had cups from every Batman movie when I was growing up. The only way that Jurassic Park could have been more places at the time is if they were buying up ad space inside of people.
"Oh no! Your kid just fell! Wait, is her knee bleeding a Jurassic Park poster?"
"Yeah. Fifty thousand dollars and all they did was fill her leg full of some sort of ink. When she bleeds, it tells you when the movie comes out and who stars in it. Pretty insane really. Don't cry, sweetie! Just walk near the bus stop so people can read your leg!"

I get why it happens. I do. Companies want to piggyback off a huge movie to get more money. Cool. Makes sense. But, my question is, how do they make money? Are there really people (and by asking this question I'm sure that the answer is yes) that will see a 'Cheez Its' poster featuring their favourite character and buy them because of it?
"I'd love to buy you, Ritz, I really would. But it's just YOU that are telling me to buy you. Get Aquaman to co-sign, and you'll be in my cart for sure."

Most cross promotions are characters selling things to kids. A kid will see Green Lantern drinking Kool-Aid, and yell at their parents to buy it. As of late though, it's movies with characters promoting adult products. Not like 'adult' adult products, just things that only adults are in the market for. Commercials showing Superman spliced with H&R Block.
"Superman can leap over tall buildings. He can run faster than a locomotive. But even he has a problem crossing his t's and dotting his i's. That's why he hires the professionals. H&R Block. We know taxes are your kryptonite. Let us take care of them so you can enjoy your Fortress Of Solitude."
What is this for? People HAVE to do taxes. You have to do them! It doesn't matter if a character brings them to you or not. You can't just not do them because a super hero doesn't tell you about them. Is that what happened with Wesley Snipes?
"Mr. Snipes. You are charged with tax evasion. How do you plead?"
"Bored, man. Bored. Taxes are so BORING. Just a guy in a suit on TV like 'Hey, you gotta do these'. Can't you get Cyclops or The Tick to tell me about them?"
"... Sorry, I wasn't paying attention. When you are not dressed as Blade, I find you boring as well. I get your point. Only characters telling us about things from here on out! You're free to go!"

There was a Superman commercial where Superman flew into the sky, and then, superimposed over him, 'Dodge Ram' comes into focus. What adult needs this?
"Hmmm. I don't know. I am for sure in the market for a Ram. I like the Hemi, I like all of the room in the back. But, how does Superman feel about this? I mean, I see that you have a giant inflatable ape that seems pretty excited about it, but I was never a fan of King Kong."
"I'm so glad you asked! Superman just LOVES the 2013 Dodge Ram. He was here the other day, test drove one, and was so impressed with it he flew into space, and turned back time so he could test drive it again!"
"... You wouldn't have just let him test drive it again?"
"He flew away before I had to tell him that of course he could just drive it a bit more. So, you want me to get the contract?"

Commercials for Gillette asking us how Superman shaves. Who cares how Superman shaves? Also, do we want and need to feel that Superman is apart of our actual world? Not that he's living in a made up land called Metropolis, but that we could see him riding the 1 train late for work?
"Superman! What are you doing here?"
"The roads are blocked because of the New York City marathon. I have the same problems as you."
"No you don't! You can just fly above it!"
"... Normally, yes. But I have ten dollars left on this MetroCard, and I don't want it to go to waste. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to pretend that that homeless man doesn't have his pants down... Just... like... you."

It's not just movies, obviously. Commercials showing celebrities tell us about a bank that's great are also infuriating. Jerry Stiller describing the difference between a chequing and a savings account. You loved a show he was in, why not put your money where he tells you too?
"Hey, Jerry. You were great as Mr. Constanza. Ever think of doing your banking with us?"
"... You want to bank with me? YOU GOT IT!"

There was a commercial during Iron Man 3, showing Iron Man was hurt. He's lying on the ground, his helmet comes off, and the next scene, they cut to the Bravocado sandwich from Subway. Iron Mans suit is powered by a six inch sub? I'm sure would have helped him to know at different points in his life.
"Iron Man! We need you!"
"I'm sorry. My suit is out of power. I'm gonna be a min..."
"Oh, no! What do you need to power it? Plutonium?"
"No. I just have to stop by a Subway and get an artist to make me a 6 inch Turkey Bacon sub on Italian Herb and cheese."
"... With tomato?"
"Of course! That's what puts the red in the suit."

Cross promotion should only be done on movies that know one knows about. A movie with a character that we don't all know of. There's no real reason for Captain America to be using Tide. There just isn't.
"I can't get the bullet scratches out of this suit. I've tried everything!"
"Everything? Have you tried Tides new 'Scratches, dents, and bullets detergent'? I washed a tank with it yesterday, when I was done it looked like a Mini Cooper!"
"Well by god. I thought I was going to have to get a new suit and shield! But I can just buy this for $4.99 and wash the dents right out! Thanks, Tide. If Red Skull ever attacks your office, I'll be there."

Cross promotion with movies is really only done with super hero movies, and other movies that are not going to win awards. There's not a lot of Oscar worthy movies that have this kind of promotion.
"We know Lincoln freed the slaves, but what did he do for back pain? Icy/Hot. Goes on icy to dull the pain, then turns hot to sooth it away. See Lincoln in theatres this Friday, and see why he said that 'The best thing about back pain is that Icy/Hot takes it away one day at a time."

Twitter @nathanmacintosh
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