Saturday, September 12, 2009

Whiteout, Part 2

I have railed on about cynical marketing before, in person and in print, but I found a new low, at least on my personal scale. The poster for today's movie, Whiteout, features the lovely Kate Beckinsale amid a flurry of snow. Appropriate, as the movie is set in Antarctica. Notice the eyes. They're crystal blue.

Now take a glance at the second picture, Kate Beckinsale in a normal visage. With some movie stars, normal and glamorous are not mutually exclusive, but I digress. Notice the eyes. Those beautiful brown eyes. They stayed brown the entire movie. False advertising!

I could go on and on about the sociology of cultures around the world valuing light over dark in humans being since the dawn of civilization, and the implicit blue-eyed bias of Whiteout's marketing team, but instead, a rant about marketing.

Every movie gets a lobby poster and every poster is designed to help sell the movie, but most viewing decisions are made long before an audience member stands in the lobby and chooses a movie. Whiteout is an Antarctic thriller. Its target audience is 16-26 year-old males. And 16-26 year-old males aren't going to be swayed by the color of an actresses eyes in a poster. They will be swayed by the knowledge that she has breasts. Cynical of me to say, but true. And irony of ironies, Whiteout, a movie set in the coldest place on earth, gives us one scene with Kate Beckinsale in her underwear. Why didn't they put that on the poster?

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