Thursday, May 24, 2012

'THE DARK KNIGHT RISES' Promotional Materials: Too Much Too Soon?

by Alex Hajna

About five weeks ago, the world was bombarded with the "super-marketing" campaign for Marvel's 'The Avengers'. Poster after poster, image after image, TV spot after TV spot, interview after interview, clip after clip, commercial after commercial... you get the idea. Now --- nearly two months before its release --- Warner Bros. seems to be doing the same thing with 'The Dark Knight Rises'.

Hit the jump for more...

On Monday, Warner Bros. released a new poster for the final installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman franchise, 'The Dark Knight Rises'. Understandably, it wasn't very well-received:

It looks as though they took the first teaser poster, added an orange hue, then cropped an image from 2008's 'The Dark Knight' on top. In fact...

That's exactly what they did.

People were taken aback by just how cheap and uninspired this poster was. But soon, all was forgiven.

The very next day, three new character posters were released:

Followed by another three character posters:

Now this is what we were hoping for; intense, heroic, dark (can't forget the dark) posters. Our Dark Knight beast was fed for another week. But we didn't have to wait another week. Not by a long shot. The very next day, seven brand new official images were released via

And as if that wasn't enough, just a couple of hours later, two new TV Spots were shown; one during the season finale of American Idol, the other during Modern Family, each with some brand new footage:

TV Spot #1:

TV Spot #2 - "Catwoman":

And then, the following day... yup! MORE images, via Empire Magazine:

These images are a real treat because (a) we finally get a look at Marion Cotillard's character, and (b) a nice look at Anne Hathaway (the idea of her as Catwoman is actually growing on me). But we still haven't seen the last of it. 

Four more character banners were released today, and these are very cool:

So the question has to be asked: why are they releasing so much in such a short amount time? If this is what we're getting a whole two months before the movie's release, what will we get in the weeks leading up to July 20th? It's one thing to have a massive marketing campaign. It's another to over-do it. I don't want to see the movie before I've seen the movie. Christopher Nolan is known as the master of secrecy in Hollywood, so why has so much been shown already?

Let's journey back...

In July of 2007, the teaser trailer was released for 'The Dark Knight'.
In July of 2011, the teaser trailer was released for 'The Dark Knight Rises'.

In December of 2007, the first theatrical trailer was released for 'The Dark Knight', along with an IMAX preview of the opening scene of the film.
In December of 2011, the first theatrical trailer was released for 'The Dark Knight Rises', along with an IMAX preview of the opening scene of the film.

In May of 2008, the final trailer was released for 'The Dark Knight'.
In May of 2012, the final trailer was released for 'The Dark Knight Rises'.

If this is any indication, they seem to be following the exact same marketing pattern for the previous film. Which means we can be expecting at least a dozen more TV spots, and a profusion of images, which was the problem with 'The Dark Knight'. When I saw the movie, I wasn't surprised by what I had seen. Did it diminish my overall enjoyment of the movie? Probably. I still find the movie to be one of the greatest films of the century. But I might have enjoyed it even more if I hadn't seen the entire movie in bits beforehand.

So is this what WB has in mind for 'Rises'? Let's hope not. Sure, 'The Avengers' had an enormous marketing campaign, but they still only scratched the surface of the entirety of the film. There was still a lot we hadn't seen. Let's just hope that's the case with this movie.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. However, the argument for too much info in marketing is a problem that dates back all the way to Spiderman 3. Its been an issue for years. As for the amount of promos now, makes sense to me. It may just seem like a lot because its all different mediums; movies, poster, tv, internet magazine. It works cause i didn't know half of those promos existed. In the end its an issue that doesn't concern me. I've learned to go on media blackout after the final trailer, more so depending on the movie (a la Prometheus). Harsh truth is that general audiences need to see more in order to get hyped up, sad but true. But in the end despite some complaints it never hurts movies on a grand scale. I'm against more info in a trailer, so i stick to posters and trailer period. If people are conscious of this trend, they will adapt and either ignore them or not.