Category: Marketing


Nothing is off limits in Tropic Thunder: gays, mentally handicap, actors, blacks, etc. The movie has seen its fair share of disgruntled guests marching out. Most of the humor comes from pushing the buttons of the overtly “Politically Correct” crowd. Does this film go to far? Does it succeed because it realizes that things like black face aren’t funny in and of itself, but looking at characters who accept these things as the norm is humorous because it is so outrageous?

This film plays off some stereotypes that really haven’t been covered before like Downey’s portrayal of an insane method actor. I am in love with Robert Downey Jr.’s performance. He stole the stage as Kirk Lazarus, an extreme method actor, who changes his appearance to play African American Sgt. Osiris. He plays the part so straight it is a bit eerie.

Stiller and Downey’s characters stayed in the limelight. I am convinced that the other characters including Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson) and Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel) deserved more screen time, their characters were the heart of the humor. While Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black) had his moments the role had the same problem as his storyline, he was just an excuse for some crude humor and flatulence.

The major subplot of the movie revolves around Tugg Speedman (Stiller) trying to escape being typecast as the “action guy”. He is ready to prove himself as a real actor and get some recognition from the Academy. His first attempt at a serious role, Simple Jack, went too far. As Lazarus explains that you never go “full retard” on a movie.

The promotion site for the Simple Jack movie has been removed because advocate groups protested the film’s use of the word “retard”.

That being said there is one fake film from Tropic Thunder I would pay to see, Satan’s Alley. Go see the trailer.

One side note: Tom Cruise made a smart career movie; he was actually funny in a film. He played producer Les Grossman. -But he still has a long way to go before he convinces me, and many others that he is not bat *hit insane.

Advertisements

Negative campaign ads never sit well with viewers but it does bring some interesting issues to light. Although the public generally despises this tactic it is increasingly popular with candidates and thought to be highly effective.

This election the mudslinging started when Hillary Clinton released a commercial knocking Barrack Obama refused to debate her in Wisconsin. Obama has for the most part has taken the high road against Hillary Clinton. Clinton has used various negative tactics from associating Barrack with Muslim groups, portraying him as a radical, and exposing dealing with NAFTA after he previously criticized the trade agreement in a debate.

The reports concerning NAFTA may have hurt Barrack in Tuesday’s caucuses and primary elections. The results lead Clinton to believe the two maybe running on a joint ticket, with her as the top runner.

A survey from the Project on Campaign Conduct showed that viewers are weary of negative campaigns and tend to distrust politicians (big surprise there).

  • 59% believe that all or most candidates deliberately twist the truth.
  • 39% believe that all or most candidates deliberately lie to voters.
  • 43% believe that most or all candidates deliberately make unfair attacks on their opponents. Another 45% believe that some candidates do.
  • 67% say they can trust the government in Washington only some of the time or never.ObamaClinton
  • 87% are concerned about the level of personal attacks in today’s political campaigns.

Voters hate the prospect of these ads but unfortunately they have been proven time and again to be highly effective. UCLA professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Marco Iacoboni completed brain imaging research from the 2004 presidential campaign. The results showed that viewers lost empathy for the candidate they supported once the person was attacked.

I can’t have an article on political ads and not at least link to the most controversial political ad, this one dates back to the Johnson vs. Goldwater from 1964. I think this one relates heavily to the Clinton ad posted above. -Same strategy just 44 years later.

Companies like Dove have started using “real” models in their advertising campaigns. The ads hope to change the standards of beauty placed on young girls who may feel encouraged to develop eating disorders or other emotional problems in order to fit these standards. It is still up in the air whether these ads have a direct effect on teens or whether other social factors weigh more. Dove is not the first company to try this route, just the first to make it last.

Dove is doing a commendable job making sure this does turn out to be a joke. They proved they were serious by taking it a step further than most companies by initiating a self-esteem fund. Women are responding positively to this campaign and hope it encourages other companies to follow suit.Klein

In the past, designers like Calvin Klein have used the same tactic. It was good that he quit using addict-looking models and half dressed children. Robert Triefus, then Senior Vice President of Communications at Calvin Klein told viewers, “We’re just reflecting real people, being honest, being independent, being real. We chose them for being themselves. They represent a generation”. Though they got the message right the ads were offensive to some and showed the real models in demeaning ways.

Rules in other countries have been changing on a national level. Countries like Spain, Brazil and the city of Milan, Italy took steps to ban ultra skinny models in 2006. The changes came after three anorexic models died that year.

NY considered banning unhealthy models last February for the New York Fashion Week. It appears nothing came of those plans though.

Glamour magazine feels they have an influence on teen’s body image and a responsibility to show women of varying sizes. “We do not run photos of anybody in the magazine who we believe to be at an unhealthy weight. We frequently feature women of all different sizes. We all know that you can look fabulous in clothes without being a size 2.”