Sunday, December 16, 2012

Poster Trends of 2012

If there's one thing I know more about than I know about movies, it would be movie marketing. Working at a DVD store and being totally surrounded by a trailer disc and 6000 DVD covers, there's no escaping it. So as people start rolling out their top movies of 2012 and such (how, I do not know), I'll look at the things that sometimes determine whether we want to watch a movie or not: the movie posters. However, how can they determine our preferences when most of them end up looking the same? I break down some of the poster trends we've seen in 2012:


Alternative/foreign posters that were better than the ones they used for the majority of the advertising.
It seems as if the next big thing is to create totally rote, or sometimes very boring posters to advertise the movie, but then someone will create all of these alternate designs which are ten times better. The Dark Knight Rises and Killing Them Softly both had a lot of alternative designs. Killing Them Softly has a whole lot of American-themed, mostly minimalist or overly artistic designs. The Dark Knight Rises used a whole lot of propaganda posters featuring Bane. I like it when the posters reflect the universes in which the movies have created, instead of just advertising the movie itself. The Bourne Legacy's alternative design was actually quite beautiful, compared to Jeremy Renner holding a gun - how many times have we seen that before? Prometheus had an awesome IMAX poster (which actually didn't spoil the film unlike one of the other designs) and Brave got a very Studio Ghibli looking Japanese poster. It is a pity that they don't use these designs over the more 'safe' choices.


Let us cram everything onto the poster.
This is an old cliche, but people are still using it. Basically, instead of creating a poster that uses less to convey more, they just cram everything onto one sheet. Sometimes I don't mind this. The Savages one is one that I particularly like, since it is so filled with colour, even though it leaves little to be desired from the film itself. The thing I have a problem with here is when these posters are as staged as anything. Just look at that poster of Think Like a Man. It is so staged it hurts.


Lining up all of the cast.
I guess these are good if you have large casts, but sometimes they come off as a little bit cheap. I say just keep with the original poster art and leave the cast to be headlined by the names only. 


Character posters.
These aren't exactly new things but I've found they probably make up a good 50% of the posters made this year. Usually they're just the blockbusters who utilise them, but now they've filtered through to a whole lot of the other genres. And apparently they like to be blue, too. 


Argo and Les Miserables - two of the biggest awards contenders - both used character posters. The Argo ones, all lined up next to each other, actually create a little story. That's cute.


I guess character posters were kind of made for movies like this one. 


Great balls of fire.
"All that glitters is not gold" - some people didn't pay attention to that one, did they? There have been quite a few posters this year that have used fire to excess. Especially that Lockout one. I've never seen so much gold and fire in my life.


Instagrammin'. 
There's been a number of movie posters that have joined the hipster-ish Instagram craze by using old-style filters and interesting lighting techniques. I love seeing that kind of stuff, but sometimes it is a little boring. Especially when it has been used so much, like it has this year.


Going back in the day.
Most of these are alternative designs, but I love these old style posters. In fact, for some reason, The Paperboy's poster is my favourite of the year. It is just so simple, yet so sexy. I love it.


We only need one person to advertise the whole movie.
I guess this is better than having the big cast line-up. Why waste your time on lots of artwork when you can just put one person up there and leave it at that? Unless we're talking about The Devil Inside. That poster is so terrible I can't even think about it. I suppose this one works better if the star is really famous, too. Which is why they do these posters. Lincoln is going to win thousands of awards based on that one poster.


People in people/people out of people.
Why just have one person where you can put people in strange positions on the posters? You can put them inside each other (although I really don't get that Gone poster...Amanda Seyfried inside Amanda Seyfried? Hmmmm.), or you can put them under each other. I actually think that Looper one is rather effective.


Let's do things sideways.
I think this is quite a cool effect - if a little hipster-ish. Instead of have a portrait poster displaying a portrait picture, here we have portrait posters displaying a landscape picture. Rather clever. It sure does make you look at things differently, LOL.


Taglines that are bigger than the titles.
This one hit me a while ago while I was on some website at school and a poster of Premium Rush came up. My friend thought that the movie was actually called 'Ride Like Hell', because it is so big on the poster. I get why people choose to do that, because they want the epic tagline to be epic, but it seems a little silly. Especially when we have the tagline saying 'No one is safe', and then find the movie is called Safe House. That's a bit of cinematic paradox, hahaha. 

What do you think of these poster trends? Are you fan of any of them?

22 comments:

  1. I personally hate the tagline better than the titles trend. It's dumb. Also not that big a fan of character posters. Love old fashioned and foreign posters.

    Great post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is rather dumb. I haven't seen one instance where it has actually worked.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  2. Nice to be back on your site in terms of having time to read and all. I agree, some posters are just.. why, I ask? It made me giggle to see that from The Avenger's line up, Loki's was so different. Also enjoyed Looper's one, I think it had a great aesthetic and suited the film. But Paperboy as your favorite, I like the subtle pink tone in hat poster.. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'll give it a try soon enough.

    PS: Man on the ledge would have been epic without the cast line up, though it is very literal, it kind of has a great impact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, time...it is always so elusive! There were like three different sets of character posters for The Avengers, but Loki was only in one of the sets :/ Awkward.

      I know, what they had was so great! The cast line-up really cheapened it.

      Delete
  3. woot, absolutely fantastic post! I actually totaly didn't realize all the Instagrammin' goin' on, but I did realize all the crap-looking everyone-and-everything-into-one-poster designs. Savages is ok, the rest is poor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! The Instagrammin' is becoming rather popular these days. And yes, Savages gets it mostly okay, but the others are really horrible.

      Delete
  4. Haha, that last one is very interesting. It really doesn't make sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't really, but people continue to do it!

      Delete
  5. The ultimate "let's cram it all on the poster" poster is last year's Tree of Life.

    One thing that regularly bothers my OCD (actually my CDO--it's like OCD but the letters are in alphabetical order, the way they're supposed to be) is when a cast is lined up with the names above them, and they don't match up. I mean, going from left to right on the names should be the same as going left to right on the people, but it rarely is. So irritating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, and somehow that poster worked.

      Haha, that annoys me too! Like actually. Every time I see it I want to rip into the poster and put them back in order.

      Delete
  6. Hm, when I saw the instagrammy posters, my first thought was "Aw, now comes the beautiful ones" - and when I read "instagram" I thought "OMG, so hipsterish, I hate that!". Talking about mixed opinions.
    Otherwise I'm with the popular choices like foreign and old school... but side ways is interesting too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I have the same mixed opinions! Instagram is popular now though, so therefore it isn't hipster ;)

      Delete
  7. "Unless we're talking about The Devil Inside. That poster is so terrible I can't even think about it."

    The Devil Inside? Huh, I must have looked over that one. Let me scroll back up and OH GOD DO NOT WANT! No wonder I missed it the first time -- my brain was trying to protect me!

    You know, looking at that Jack Reacher poster reminds me of the "chin down, eyes up" trend you're likely to see on most video game covers. And by the looks of things, there are a few other posters that mirror the trend (Black Widow's offering an excellent demonstration).

    You can see the chin down, eyes up thing spoofed here, if you're looking for a laugh. Or alternatively, a bit of horror.

    http://www.gametrailers.com/videos/itmzga/mega64-chin-down--eyes-up

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is such an awful poster. Every time new posters arrive at work, I get really excited. However, when I opened up the package and unrolled that particular poster, I just about threw up, and then I threw it away without even thinking of putting it up in the shop. It was so awful.

      Hahahaha, that video is very funny. Seems that is a cliché of the video gaming world!

      Delete
  8. Very informative. I loved this. It's true... there's various trends, all of which factor into people watching the movie.

    To be fair, to the 'line up' and cramming in all the actors trend, there are times when I'll watch a movie simply because there's an actor I like featured / highlighted in the cover of a movie at the DVD store, that I didn't know about. So it definitely works.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks!

      It probably does work for a lot of people. For me, I'd prefer everyone be a part of the poster, as opposed to being glued on.

      Delete
  9. I actually kind of like the tag line being bigger than the title. I used to work in a movie theater, so I have this giant banner of Starsky and Hutch where the tag line was really huge says "They're the man." I think it's hilarious to look at because of that.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Haha, sometimes it can work if the tagline is really good. That always helps.

      Delete
  10. Great post! My favorite out of those are definitely old styles posters, especially the one for The Master.

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    1. Thanks! The old style posters are the best. The one for The Master is stunning.

      Delete
  11. Those foreign posters are great, and I like the Savages one too. I don't really mind the sideways posters or the "going back in the day" ones, but I'm tired of all the character ones. After all, a film doesn't really need 39 posters.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The character ones are actually getting quite annoying. I mean, they're good for banners and cardboard standees. But they're getting really silly because they feel like such a copout.

      Delete

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