Sony Pictures Launches Excruciatingly Stingy “B:LA” Teaser Campaign at Comic-Con, Online

23 07 2010

They Had Me At “Doom”

If you’re lucky enough to be at the San Diego Comic-Con, you suck. If I had just one nerd friend that I could drag with me to things like this, I’d be there too right about now. It seems like it’s crazy as all hell.

So for months, there’s been almost no new images or details about Battle: Los Angeles—which I imagine is in keeping with Marketing 101, or whatever, but it sure has been annoying. As of this weekend, though, those days of information blackout are over; there’s B:LA data literally pouring out of San Diego right now. In fact, I’m not even gonna try to keep up with it. Let the cream rise to the top, and all that. Twelve bloggers blogging, eleven twits a-tweeting.

Viral teaser campaign: San Diego Comic-Con (image yoinked from a Giant Freakin Robot post).

By the way, in an earlier post I said that this joint was dropping on 17 February (F is for February; February is for film failure), but a few months ago Sony bumped it back to 11 March. Peter Scrietta at / Film calls this release date the “coveted 300 slot”; I guess it’s the opening weekend during which 300 broke not one but two spring box office records (it’s all on Wikipedia, if you’re interested). So we shall see.

Viral teaser campaign: San Diego Comic-Con (image yoinked from a FirstShowing.net post).

Until the Comic-Con dust settles, we the losers who didn’t go can only gnaw on the thrown bone that is the official website. Because the web address featured on all this advertising media demands nothing less, I’ll isolate where I would otherwise incorporate:

reportthreats.org

Yeah. About that. Okay, so on the main page of the Battle: Los Angeles website, visitors are invited to “enter the site and find out the truth”—which happens to be the exact tagline Sony Pictures used in its Phase I viral marketing blitz for 2012 (don’t strain yourselves or anything). And indeed, when you click through, it’s all standard teaser fare. The fictitious organization. An emphasis on verisimilitude. And lots of video. They have all of this “footage” organized into categories, and I nosed through most of it (if you’re wondering whether that was a waste of time, the answer is yes, it was).

If you’re a glutton for punishment, I recommend the “Eyewitness Testimonials” category. Start with the one I gravitated to right away: the one labeled “Doom”. It’s wrapped flimsily around this premise of a shared event at what I’m gonna go ahead and call a swap meet. So in the course of these “testimonials”, the vendors (or whatever), who include a scruffy, lip-pierced bad-ass and some concerned seniors,  succeed only in conveying that they are bad actors who can only get viral campaign work (with the exception of the black lady—I totally bought what she was selling). And isn’t that the same outfit that George Sr. wore while he was hiding out with the staircar down in Mexico?

Clockwise from top left: inked and street-savvy member of 18-to-24-year-old demographic who knows what he saw; hard-working chaser of the American Dream whose accent lends a sense of mystery and who has seen more than her share in her time on this earth but never anything like what she saw on the day in question; inventor of the Cornballer (¡Si! ¡Si! The Cornballer!), with longtime secretary/personal assistant Kitty Sanchez.

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How to Distinguish Heroes from Villians

8 07 2010

HINT: The Rich Pretty One Who Spits at Cameramen When He Loses is the Hero

The photograph below, which I found on flickr user chris.huggin’s photostream, blew me away so completely that I felt compelled to break my own image format rule in order to do it justice. I guess technically it’s a detail of the original, since I cropped it drastically. The original’s here. Hopefully this won’t get yanked (I think I’m good, under the whole creative commons license thing), ’cause I needn’t point out how totally perfect it is both for this blog in general and this juxtaposition in particular.


Toronto, 26 June, 2010. Butchering the beef window.

South Africa, 29 June, 2010. What’s not to love.






Furverts Thrown Bone

1 07 2010

Yiffy Ad Campaign Continues to Cater to Niche Fetish

This zoomorphic Orangina ad campaign has been going strong for, like, two or three years now, but the new 10-second shaving spot caught my attention. It just went up on Orangina’s YouTube channel, which is where the company tests out its ads before moving the most popular ones to television. Oh, and if you think I’m being crass or presumptuous about the whole furry angle, just check out the “enthusiastic” comments left on the Orangina channel page. You’ll find that the usernames and avatars kinda speak for themselves.

Big game deodorizing with Orangina after big game.

Way to tap into the whole locker room fantasy thing, BTW. So here’s the deal with these print and video ads: talking animals walk erect among us, hanging out and hooking up with human beings as if this were the most normal thing in the world. Animal anatomies are barely zoomorphed. Toes are spread on hoofed mammals just enough to afford working digits; pupils are altered on carnivores just enough to express non-verbal cues.

Okay, so, animals. Not really original, but the approach is disciplined, so in theory I’m still on board.

Where they lose me is when they start messing with my semantic differentiation. I mean, my human brain is still pretty plastic, but my monkey brain doesn’t like being told to drink detergent. Oh, you mean I can put floor wax in my mouth and swallow it? Thanks for nothing, Mr. Yuk™. Depicting a soft drink as an H&BA item is pushing it—watching a female panda laud the merits of using Orangina as a douche definitely tested my limits, as did the zit-popping chameleon (as if lizards weren’t repellent enough). But depicting a known potable as a household cleaning agent seems counterintuitive for a reason.

Delusional puma aftershaving with Orangina before misbehaving with body hair-less cat.

This new one, though, which may or may not ever find its way to French TV, really makes me wanna take aerosol shots of Orange Pledge® right from the can (no wax, no buildup; removes up to 84% of allergens in dust). Because most furries are same-sex oriented, it was probably only a matter of time before Orangina reinforced the stereotype of homosexual men as shallow, mirror-gazing body fascists by slapping some abs on a lower mammal. And not just any lower mammal, but one from the Feliformia suborder: an effing cat!  Real nice—everybody knows they spend way too much time grooming.





This Blog Needs More Orange

13 02 2010

I Know Just the Thing

Pauly D uploaded another picture of himself on Guys with iPhones. More than a few not-quite-household names have been self-commodifying on that shallow, filthy site of late. A recent Gawker article speculates on this gay-for-display phenomenon, so I won’t launch into any theories here. But yes, I do think that the placement of his pics on GWIP is as cold and calculated as the stony stare in the picture itself, and in this case no, I don’t think that Pauly D is the one doing the calculating.

I love the design of this website but hate that this website exists.

3 Things I Really Like About Pauly D

  1. Despite (or perhaps in part because of) the narcissism and the posturing, he oozes hypermasculinity. I realize a lot of that’s the pecs and the guns—but it’s also, for some reason, the idiolect. I loves me a good old-fashioned colossal ego, especially when it’s often-voiced. It’s like watching a cartoon.
  2. The bulletproof blowout (may or may not be an extension of #1). Oh, like you’re not stuck at one place in time with something? His hairstyle is a talking point that detractors revisit time and time again, but I’d be surprised if he ditched it. It’s become a part of his brand. Personally, I think excessive product is hot in guys’ hair. Pauly D’s blowout is amazing.
  3. His motorcycle’s wheels have spinners. Enough said.

Precedent. Oh, did you think there was none?

3 Things I Find Regrettable About Pauly D

  1. The excessive grooming and preening. The orange tan I don’t mind at all because his hair, eyes and complexion are all dark enough for him to get away with it. But unless they’re so hirsute that their eyebrows connect over the nose, dudes should not tweeze. At all. You can always tell, and it makes them seem girly.
  2. The Cadillac tattoo. Does Cadillac own him? Are they afraid he’ll get cattle-rustled and re-sold to another ranch, like the Lazy Kia or the Double Hyundai? If we’re going to be totally honest (and we are), getting a reality television personality to tattoo a brand logo on their body in exchange for a large check would probably net somebody a promotion. It would also be less disturbing than somebody voluntarily wearing an enormous car logo on their skin forever. I think tattoos of any kind betray an incredible insecurity, but this one is particularly egregious.
  3. In one of  the back-to-back series premiere episodes—I think it was the second of the two—he casually mused on the fact that it “only takes nine pounds of pressure to break a nose”. I mean, testosterone is hot and all, but I don’t care to have people who keep track of things like that anywhere near me.

Everything is connected to everything else.





WPA-Era Dungeon Map Promises Tens of Thousands of Gold Pieces, Experience Points

12 02 2010

Botched 1d20 Roll By Chaotic Neutral Half-Orc Leaves Subterranean Network Undisturbed for Almost 75 Years

Speaking of lizard-people conspiracies, check out this crazy article posted the other day on Strange Maps:

Secret Caves of the Lizard People

Miraculous! This Shufelt character makes one of the most significant archaeological finds of the twentieth century on blind faith with a divining rod. They really did have nerds in the thirties, then. Make sure you check out the  2007 Skeptoid article that’s linked in the Strange Maps piece. It’s equally awesome. Oh, and according to yet another blog, Shufelt didn’t get very far into his excavation of this labyrinthine wonder before he “vanished from public view”—which, when phrased like that, sounds just creepy enough to titillate lizard-people conspiracy theorists. I prefer to assume that he disappeared in shame because he was exposed as a crackpot. I mean, for real, according to the newspaper transcript, this dude was swinging a piece of copper wire around and calling it a “radio X-ray”. If you say so, sir!

Fixed.

By the way, I recommend the eponymous 2009 Strange Maps book as a must-read. One of my kid brothers knew I was a fan of the blog and gave me the book as a Christmas gift. I promptly read it straight through, cover-to-cover, even though you could just as easily go at it piecemeal (it’s that kind of a book, after all). Even if you’re not down with maps, or for that matter trivia, you should totally dig the maps from an aesthetic point of view, as graphic design. If you’re enticed by none of the above, then you’re probably beyond help and should just retreat to the Bravo! channel.





People in Charge of Everything Apparently Unfazed by Depletion of World’s Letter X Reserves

12 02 2010

Future of Tracy Jordan Meat Machine™ Remains Unclear

So today Cοmcast officially becomes Χfinity. You heard me. I have no idea. Maybe Zfinity and Qfinity were both taken. But hey, it’s 2010 (a number, by the way, that sounds like it traveled back from the future to warn us that Disney would buy Marvel); as a kid, I was convinced that what was left of the human race would be wandering half-dead through a nuclear wasteland right about now, so if the worst thing I have to get all snide about at this particular moment is a questionable re-branding choice for a product I couldn’t care less about, I suppose I’m ahead of the game.

Still wrong.

No, wait, that’s not the worst thing I have to get all snide about at this particular moment. Disney. Bought. Marvel. Yawn. Let’s try that again. Disney bought Marvel! And for an obscene amount of money ($4,#@%,#@%,#@%). I know this is old news, and in fact I’d just stopped throwing up in my mouth a little every time I thought about it. But then I must’ve blinked, or something, because the next thing I know the Spider-Man film franchise is getting rebooted just so they can nuke Peter Parker all the way back to high school via some demographic-grabbing ever-prepubescent (if it ends up being a Zac Lautner or a Taylor Efron, as is being speculated, then you will know for sure that Marvel has officially had its balls cut off).

Still wrong.

The worst part about this prospect is that, despite casting a hairless Eloi as Spider-Man, they will manage to ‘shop said Eloi up with enough CGI, barely-legal supplements and gratuitous shirtless abdominal shots to commodify this man-child sex object (and by extension the Marvel character) into now-all-too-familiar homoerotic oblivion. Slippery slope my ass: where a teenaged and emasculated Peter Parker rears its smugly head, X-treme Pink Princess She-Hulk® and X-Men Babies® cannot be far behind. Which of course will result in even more squandering of our precious letters X.

One mega-merged half of the world’s second-largest publicly traded company called. It wants its “X” back.

Like most non-renewable resource crises, this rampant over-consumption of the letter X really took off in the consonant-guzzling 1970s. So once again we come to find that the 1970s ruined something for the rest of us. No surprises there.





Plague of Bears To Be Unleashed on Select Theater Audiences as Punishment for Arriving Early

25 11 2009

Conservatives with Weakened Immune Systems Already Experiencing Allergic Reaction to Rare 11th Plague; Vaccine-Resistant Viral Clip May Also Convince Stubborn Eskimo to Rethink Unnecessary Air Travel, Free Israelites

You guys know I find politics gross, but I really wanna talk about this clip, and there’s no way to do it without trudging through hot-button sludge. So here goes. A nickel-bag environmentalist group in England somehow rustled up the funds to produce the following clip, which is blue-filtered and moody and Bolero-like and melodramatic and artsy and all of the things that a good theater commercial should be. That’s right, I like commercials—that doesn’t make me a capitalist any more than a conscious effort to reduce my carbon footprint makes me a communist.

Fueled by blind, impotent rage, scores of resentful, self-imagined guardians of truth instantly responded to this new threat with a barrage of climate statistics and strange references to Al Gore.  This counteroffensive, however, will probably prove ineffective against the bears, which are computer-generated and not really falling from the sky. YouTube is not the front, and the comments sections are not the trenches. Get over yourselves. You’re taking all of the good out of it, and ruining it for the rest of us.

There will be blood.

The channel that I embedded from is called “adsoftheworldcom“, and the theme of the channel is not global warming or climate change or making fun of birthers, but rather—you guessed it—ads of the world. It’s seemingly a repository for cool ads. That’s why I thought the comments for this clip might break YouTube precedent and actually be about style and technique and approach. It was naive of me, I now realize, to expect that the invisible chains of relevance would hold. Again, I thought we could all just enjoy the fact that it really looks like there are polar bears falling out of the sky. Yeah, the factoid is specious and the mammal use is over-the-top sentimental. Yeah, the cause is too niche. But the jet engine SFX are synchronized well, and incongruous imagery is always a treat. Usually the comments are an amusing supplement to any popular YouTube video, but today they just made me feel like I was living in a social Dark Age.

This is something that happens.

This is not something that happens. It looks really crazy, though, right?