When I wrote my piece last week about how mystifyingly bad the teaser poster for "John Carter" is, for some reason, it seemed to particularly upset George "Formerly Of Latino Review" Roush. He called me out about it on Twitter, and then wrote his own piece in which he savagely mocked me while completely missing the point of what I wrote.
I hadn't seen the new "Brave" poster when he brought it to my attention last night on Twitter, once again bringing up my reaction to "John Carter," and the fact that he would even compare the two points out just how much he missed the boat on what I said last week. The problem with the "John Carter" poster is that it says nothing about the film. At all. And even a teaser poster has an obligation to tease. Give me something. Mood. Setting. A look or a feel that suggests what I might be getting from your film. You have to assume with every single piece of marketing released for a film that someone who will see that trailer or poster or TV spot has no idea what your movie is, and that might be your only opportunity to make an impression on them. By that standard, "John Carter" is as complete a failure as I've seen from a teaser poster.
But "Brave"? Well, this is how you do it.
As I mentioned in my review of "Cars 2," they showed us the trailer for "Brave" before that film's premiere, and I thought the "Brave" teaser was incredibly effective. There's no real narrative, but what they sell is a beautiful, rugged countryside, a little girl with a bow, and her absolute lack of fear in the face of a giant bear attacking her. It's short, it's simple, and it left me wanting to know more. Mission accomplished.
The poster, which appeared today at The Hollywood Reporter, does pretty much the same thing. It sets a tone, suggests that there is magic in this world, and hints and something much bigger that we'll learn when we eventually see the film. And again… it serves to introduce us to the main character, that red-haired little girl who seems to fear nothing.
It's amazing how effective one poster can be while the same studio can end up releasing another poster that says absolutely nothing. Just a good example of how important every step of a campaign is, and how you have to put your best foot forward every single time.
"Brave" will arrive in theaters June 22, 2012.