Sunday, February 6, 2011

Captain America gets an exciting, but poorly targeted Super Bowl teaser.

I'm not going to do a rundown of every single Super Bowl movie ad, primarily because there were just too many of them. But let's start with what was easily the most-anticipated preview of the night, Captain America: The First Avenger. Unfortunately, due to the way Marvel is selling this thing, we have to discuss the trailer on two levels. As far as the actual visual footage, it was pretty impressive. The battle footage looks real, with the exception of the 'flying into the sky' shot at 0:18, and the opening narration lent a tone of gravity to the proceedings (thank you Stanley Tucci). Aside from actually seeing Cap in action, the big tease was the reveal of Red Skull at 0:24. Technically the make-up looks better than that worn by Scott Paulin back in 1990, but it's still a guy with a red skull (my first thought was Tim Curry in Legend). The clip was exciting, even if there was no attempt made to establish the tone of this particular Marvel adventure.

Speaking of Marvel, let me explain something: My wife knows who Captain America is. I'd argue most of the Super Bowl audience knows who Captain America is. But neither my wife nor much of America has a clue who the Avengers are. So the onscreen text selling the importance of the Avengers over the much-beloved iconography associated with Steve Rogers is kinda boneheaded. The Avengers, as a movie, is only cool because heroes like Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and The Hulk will be in said club. Being in the Avengers is not what makes these heroes interesting in the first place. Marvel has it backwards and is hurting their own individual brands. Moviegoers will either want to see a Captain America movie or they won't. Confusing general, non-nerd audiences with references to a superhero club that they've never heard of is not smart marketing. Horse before the cart, people...

Scott Mendelson

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