24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

« Previous | 24 Frames Home | Next »

Super Bowl 2011: The force isn't with most film promos

February 6, 2011 |  8:34 pm

Movies figured into some of the biggest ads during Sunday's Super Bowl. Unfortunately for Hollywood, those weren't commercials for movies.

A number of the best-received spots referenced well-known films: Kia threw a slew of movie tropes at the screen — including a helicopter chase and an alien invasion — with a spot for its new Optima called “One Epic Ride.” Coke featured a bevy of computer-generated ogres with cinematic overtones in one of its commercials.

Meanwhile, Chevrolet used a car hanging off a bridge “Inception”-style, and a spot for Budweiser saw a saloon crowd join together in a rendition of Elton John's “Tiny Dancer” in the manner of a popular scene from Cameron Crowe's “Almost Famous.”

Perhaps the most buzzed-about commercial invoked “Star Wars” as Volkswagen touted its new Passat in a spot called “The Force” that used a child dressed as Darth Vader to promote the car's remote-controlled ignition.

The actual movie ads? They landed with more of a thud.

Perhaps the most well received — or at least the most intriguing — came with “Super 8,” the J.J. Abrams-directed, Steven Spielberg-executive produced science-fiction film that comes out in June. While some Twitter users said it reminded them a little too much of Spielberg's “E.T.,” comments about the commercial were retweeted often and generously.

Another Spielberg-affiliated movie, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” earned a warmer reception than ads for previous films in that franchise, in part because the spot took a less noisy approach than earlier incarnations. (The Paramount Pictures film also teamed with Chevrolet for a post-game spot called “Bumblebee,” named after the auto-robot in the film; both the car brand and the movie were flogged in the commercial.)

But a pregame ad for the new Adam Sandler comedy “Just Go With It,” with a woman running on a beach in a bikini, was less well regarded.

Passing almost as quickly were short spots for “Thor,” Kenneth Branagh's Marvel superhero film, and Fox's ad for the talking-bird animated film “Rio,” which also tried to hook viewers with a multimedia campaign. A spot for Johnny Depp's animated movie “Rango,” directed by Gore Verbinski, did earn a reasonably enthusiastic reception.

Depp also saw his “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” promoted during the game in a commercial that emphasized comedy over action. "Captian America: The First Avenger," meanwhile, gave audiences their first look at the World War II action adventure.

Hotly anticipated coming into the game was a spot for Jon Favreau's genre-bending “Cowboys & Aliens,” which comes out in July. [For the record: An earlier version of this post said that the film was being released in June.] But the immediate reaction online was lukewarm. (The full video below.)

Companies paid as much as $100,000 per second to advertise during the Super Bowl. Nearly a dozen films were pushed before or during the big game, with the aim of appealing to the largest single-day audience on the TV calendar. Last year, however, that effort yielded mixed results: For every ad promoting mega-hit “Alice in Wonderland,” there seemed to be one touting a dud like “The Wolf Man.”

Hollywood did make its presence felt in other ways on Sunday evening. Popping up in several ads were the unlikely faces of Oscar winners: Adrien Brody, Timothy Hutton and Cuba Gooding Jr. all hawked products during the show.

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

 

 


 
Comments () | Archives (1)

The comments to this entry are closed.

THE FASTEST SUPERBOWL EVER PLAYED: Did anyone besides me notice the dearth of instant replays and color commentary and the hyper-action speed of this Superbowl TV coverage? I've never seen the ball move so fast through the air or people run so fast. I have a suspicion that FOX digitally manipulated, compressed, sliced and diced the entire game to maximize the commercials.

I wonder how many scenes and instant replays were cut to make room for commercials.

This was supposed to be live coverage, not some edited version, shrunk-down and fast-forwarded to funnel money into Sir Rupert's corporate coffers.

But hey, what else are we commoners for but to serve the will of the crown?


Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video







Categories


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: