an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Movie Monday: Date Night

Posted by Rosepixie on May 10, 2010

These are two posters for the recent movie Date Night.

I think that these are fundamentally both pretty boring posters that don’t actually tell us much about the movie, despite the tattered clothing, but as a pair I find them extremely interesting.

Steve Carell looks essentially the same to me in both posters – same size, same amount of tatteredness (the tatterdness just varies a bit in the details between the two images).  Tina Fey, however, appears vastly differently in the two different posters.  She’s dramatically less tattered in the second poster (although she looks rather less tattered than Carell in both and somehow appears perfect despite the obvious trauma her dress and hair have recently suffered).

Interestingly, Fey is also considerably thinner in the first poster!  Her dress appears to fall to just below her knees in both (and appears to be the same dress), but the dress in the first poster has very different proportions than the dress in the second poster.  It appears that the photo that was used for the first poster was stretched considerably (which is actually fairly common practice in celebrity photos).  She has more cleavage in the first poster as well (perhaps they drew it in – another surprisingly common practice).

But why did they stretch the photo so much for the first poster and not for the second?  As far as I can tell, the top poster came out before the bottom one did and I have seen no evidence of outrage or anything about the stretching (I actually probably wouldn’t have noticed if it weren’t for the side-by-side comparison and I doubt many other people would have either).  I actually think she looks better in the second photo, but I’m not sure that has anything to do with the stretching or not.  I just think that the dress looks better on her in the second photo and that there’s something funny about her left arm in the first one that isn’t a problem in the second.

As an ad for the movie I think this is pretty weak – it shows little beyond two actors standing there and an incredibly generic title.  I’m assuming that this is a comedy based on the actors portrayed and the distressed clothing, which is unusual for a date, but other than that, I know basically nothing about the movie after looking at these posters.  And from just that, I really don’t have enough to pay for tickets to see it.  The two do make for an interesting side-by-side, though, and I wish I knew what the thinking behind their creations was.

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One Response to “Movie Monday: Date Night”

  1. Kathleen said

    I disagree; this is a fairly effective poster for an action comedy. People often go to see comedies solely based on the main actors, and the imagery and title tell you most of what you need to know if its typically thin premise: a late-30s married couple go on a date night that goes horribly, hilariously wrong. Personally, I think the second one conveys a better sense of the movie (from having seen the previews) because instead of looking like they had a feisty romp in the back alley (fastening his button, fixing her hair), they look more like they’ve been hit by a truck (stunned expressions). Also, any poster that has the characters staring straight at the camera is naturally fairly engaging.

    I think you’re right that they stretched out Tina Fey’s body in the first poster, but some of the thinness comes from her posture. She’s standing with equal weight on both hips in the second poster but only one one in the first.

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