Films, Football and Uninformative Advertising
Zeitgeist saw the above ad on the London Underground earlier this week, advertising the new version of the Total Recall film that Sony is imminently releasing. (As if anything could beat the Arnie version).
It’s a nice ad because it doesn’t directly advertise the film, but rather cheekily promotes the central product in the film instead, in an attempt to blur the worlds of reality and fiction (it’s all very postmodern). It appears they’ve also thought about their European target market, by featuring football-related imagery, rather than something more American, like baseball, or something involving large cars.
A similar campaign was featured on the Tube last year for the film Limitless, with Bradley Cooper from The Hangover. The ad itself hawks the pill that forms the crux of the plot, rather than the film itself. We wrote about the promotion as part of a broader article, here. Arguably the first proponent of such a tactic in guerrilla film marketing occurred way back in 1999 for The Blair Witch Project. This kind of advertising also fits nicely into recent findings showing the power of “uninformative advertising”. According to Yale School of Management:
“Using a game theory model, Mayzlin and Shin show that when advertising a high-quality product, specifying product attributes can be counterproductive, because a firm can describe only a limited number of those attributes. An uninformative advertisement, on the other hand, can prompt viewers to seek out additional information on the product, and in the process learn about more of its positive attributes.”