Remember the old days? Those uncomplicated days of yore, when talented folk would make a movie, release a trailer, and that would be enough to get us to the theatre? It seems that nowadays, the movie marketing machine cranks into action from the moment creative types are attached to a project. Teasers and tid-bits are tossed around from the moment the cameras roll (or even beforehand, in the case of Batman vs. Superman) in the hopes of whipping excitement up to fever-pitch in preparation for that all-important opening weekend. Godzilla appears to be no exception, with Warner Bros. releasing a last-minute clip and TV spot ahead of the film’s imminent premiere this Friday.
We already had a variety of trailers, and a smattering of TV spots and clips for this one – in addition to a lengthy interview with director Gareth Edwards, in which he deconstructed the trailer for us. We’re getting all the press junket stuff with the cast – including Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe and David Strathairn – and coverage of the premieres, too. But, now that the film has finally been screened for critics and is being reviewed, the studio want to have the final word.
What we have here, then, is a quick one-two of action and emotion. The clip teases the film’s slow reveal of the legendary creature which, let’s face it, is why we’re pre-booking our cinema tickets. Without completely blowing Gareth Edwards’ money-shot, the marketing marvels have given us just enough to suggest that this is one of those high-impact moments in cinema. If anything makes it clear that this is something to be experienced on the big screen, it’s this.
Then, we have the TV spot. This is different, in that it doesn’t really show us anything we haven’t seen before from this marketing campaign. Quite understandably, with the dulcet tones of Bryan Cranston and Ken Watanabe at their disposal, Godzilla’s trailer-makers have tuned their ears to the dialogue of those characters to build tension and anticipation. This new one uses the now familiar snippet of Cranston demanding answers of the Government, to really hammer home the emotional depth we are to expect of this movie. That dialogue, as we have seen, is layered over shots from the film – but in this case, there is some subtle rearrangement.
It’s a risky business, marketing a tentpole feature film in this way, these days. As we saw with Prometheus in 2012, studios run the risk of audiences becoming bored with the project before it ever hits the screen. The emphasis on opening weekend can drive expectations so high that disappointment becomes a real possibility, instead of allowing positive word-of-mouth to generate a longer run. Saturating the media with the film for too long before its release can sometimes leave potential viewers with the sense that they’ve essentially seen the film – removing the need to buy tickets.
Has that been the case with Warner Bros.’ upcoming blockbuster? I don’t think so. It’s come incredibly close to that tipping point, certainly – but I’m still very excited about experiencing this reimagining of the Godzilla legend.
The creature is unleashed on May 16th, 2014. In the meantime, you can check out the new clip and TV spot below.
Source: The Playlist