Like Films... only shitter and with Jessica Ennis

At the weekend I visited my local multiplex. I arrived nice and early, got comfy, and the lights dimmed. Before the movie started - there were 25 minutes of cinema length adverts aka extended versions of sop story narratives tenuously brought back to brand values by tail-ending them with a logo end frame. You don't just find these type of commercials in cinemas, but having all these extended cuts back to back made their efforts to be poignant all the more hollow and cringeworthy.

The grade, the wispy voice, the piano based soundtrack, the slow motion humanity stuff - given the cinema setting and the length of these ads they transcend into something akin to a Terrance Malick movie... only they're not, they're really really not. No matter how poetic the script and all the money that's pumped into the production - any moment you're waiting for them to link all those adjectives the vo's been listing back to ... you guessed it ... the Brand.

Enter a fake-panting Jessica Ennis, a bank logo and half a screen of legal supers detailing how they're going to take your house unless you keep up payments. Santanders' attempt at story telling lasted a total of 120 seconds with a 90 and following 30 to really hammer it home. I love going to the movies, and don't mind an ad or two whilst my eyes and buttocks are adjusting - but it all got a bit silly, and judging from the audience's groaning as they were subjected to the brand launched emotional barrage one after another - reality check time.

Cinema advertising can be a really powerful media - you've a relatively undistracted captive audience, and amazing sound and picture quality to play with - but for the love of god just because you're playing in a cinema before a Film does not make your advert any less of an advert. Sell things!

Luckily the film eventually started - and for two hours Captain America showed me with his fists and sexy sidekick why Capitalism is awesome.


  1. Advertising...fuck yeah!

  2. They got that B-Roll. David Morrissey dialling one in for a fat pay cheque. Tut tut.


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