First Click: ads are the heroes we deserve

April 17th, 2015


Perpetual machines cannot exist because they violate the laws of thermodynamics. Unfortunately, there are no such laws in modern film advertising.

With the advent of social media, every actor is an ad and every fan is a distribution medium. It goes like this: a well-known #human takes a selfie as a comic-book #character for whatever #studio is currently paying the bill. Take Jared Leto, for example, and his painfully slow transformation into the Joker for DC Comics’ upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Each Snapchat image is an ad for an advert of an advertisement that fans enthusiastically share with friends and family. For free. Because we’re fanatics and we’re slightly insane.

The marketing blitz, once confined to a trailer or two, is now more a marketing dribble that drip-feeds a regurgitated slurry of teasers into the mouths of a needy brood. Actors and fans mutually masticating each other for months — even years — until everyone pukes or falls slaked into their cinema seats on opening day.

Spectre, the 24th Bond film, will hit theaters on November 6th, 2015, yet its promotion began in earnest back in December of 2014. Star Wars: The Force Awakens won’t release until December 18th, 2015. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, announced way back in 2013, won’t be released until March 25th, 2016.

Savvy internet users hate ads. We use adblockers and even pay for apps or subscription services in order to remove the advertising. Yet here we are enthusiastically playing the role of advertiser to our peers.

Welcome to the madhouse.

Five stories to start your day

  1. Jared Leto teases his new Joker with a duck-face selfie

    Jared Leto is continuing his slow transformation into the Joker for DC Comics' upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Last week we saw the actor and 30 Seconds to Mars frontman replicate the cover for Alan Moore Batman classic The Killing Joke in a tweet — now we get a glimpse of Leto's toxic-green hair and bright red lips pursed into pout via Snapchat.

  2. New forces of good and evil are awakening in Star Wars Episode VII

    In the original Star Wars trilogy, it was the Empire versus the Rebels. In the prequel trilogy, it was the Separatists versus the Republic. Now, thirty years after the end of Return of the Jedi, with the Emperor dead and the Rebellion victorious, two new factions have emerged to battle it out in Star Wars: The Force Awakens — meet the Resistance, and the First Order.

  3. Batman v. Superman trailer makes an early, blurry debut online

    This camera recording of the teaser trailer starts to illuminate the grounds for conflict between two of the world's favorite superheroes. Superman's boundless powers have apparently earned him the public's distrust, and Batman is playing his usual public protector role in taking on the man from Krypton.

  4. SpaceX’s near-miss barge landing is even more dramatic in this alleged GoPro footage

    You can see how the rocket overcompensates for its off-balance approach before meeting a fiery end as it comes down on the barge.

  5. Japan's maglev train breaks world speed record

    The train beat the previous mark of 581 kilometers (361 miles) per hour, set in 2003, though a spokesman for the railway company tells The Wall Street Journal that the record may not stand for long.

Droid of the day