Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Couples Retreat: The Genius of Hollywood Marketing
Hollywood marketing gets slagged often (and for good reason) about most everything they do. Trailers give away too much information about the plot; all the funny lines are in the trailers; the advertising for movies is misleading about what the movie is about. There are hundreds of examples for each of these complaints.
But what about when the marketing hits a home run? Why don't people jump up and down and give them the props they deserve (other than for the fact everyone on earth (including marketers) hate marketers).
Well, after seeing the trailer for Couples Retreat (once or twice - did you know it was coming out? I think it showed on my television even once when it was off), I'm about to doff my cap to the marketing team behind this latest Hollywood effort...
First, some disclaimers. No, I haven't seen the movie. No, I'm not getting any money to promote it (though I can be bought). No, I don't think it will be a particularly good movie.
With all that said, however, I'm guessing it will have a big opening weekend - because it is subtly playing to both a male and female audience in its advertising.
For the ladies...
It's a "chick flick." One of those romantic comedies that feature a happy ending (not that kind sicko) where the men and women fall in love, fall in love all over again, or continue on the path of love. The clue? It has the word "couples" in the title. The plot is about attempting to keep couples together - and the best part? By following 4 couples, each one can have a cliched rom-com plot device. The divorcing couple. The cheating couple. The May/December couple. And the couple who doesn't think they have problems but they totally do.
For the men...
Putting Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau together makes the male mind harken back to Swingers, one of the most male centric movies of the last 15 years. And yet Swingers was also a relationship movie told from the male's perspective (with Sega Hockey thrown in). Add Jason Bateman and make sure the women in the movie are attractive, and you can see how this content might appeal to men.
Taken separately, these ingredients would probably make a couple decent flicks that would cater to their specific target audiences.
But put them together...
I can only imagine the meetings where the genesis of this movie was born. I'd be willing to be it had a number of execs "brainstorming" based off of some numbers recent movies made, trying to "crack the code" and make a crossover movie that will appeal to both target audiences.
And you know what? I think they may have found success. No, they don't have the recipe that will create blockbuster after blockbuster, but I think Couples Retreat will do well. Regardless of its content. I think it will do well because of the marketing. It's obvious the commercials are geared toward men, trying desperately to hide the fact that it's about relationships and romance.
So I'm curious to see how well this film does, and I'm willing to give the marketing team a high five if it does well. And yes, I know for some of you that means high fiving the devil.