It happens all the time. You’re watching a commercial or web video, and there’s fields of wild grass, children playing with dogs, a grandmother and daughter sharing a quiet smile in the kitchen, all set to a generically happy John Tesh-ian soundtrack with a voiceover like smooth caramel that makes you want to call everyone you love and tell them so… and then you find out it’s an ad for a new cholesterol pill. These bizarrely ambiguous, warm n’ fuzzy marketing efforts are the cornerstone to any gigantic corporation’s goal of distilling what it does down to a human level. When you see their logo, they want you to think of sunshine and smiles, not Gattaca and Rollerball.
Now enter X-Men: Days of Future Past, the fifth installment of the (now-splintered) X-Men franchise. Sure, the actual movie isn’t set for release for another year or so, but is there really such a thing as marketing a movie too soon? Right on the heels of The Wolverine, which topped its opening weekend box office, it makes sense to get the fanboys itching for the next big thing in the X-Men universe. What comes as more of a surprise is just how they’re doing it. The first major marketing push for Days of Future Past doesn’t feature one single member of the X-Men. Instead, it focuses on Trask Industries and its founder Boliver Trask. Now, readers of The Uncanny X-Men comics in 1981 might know what it’s all about but to everyone else it appears to be just another feel-good corporate marketing effort.
Seriously, watch this.
And now this:
See any resemblance? Corporate marketers may feel a tinge of pride, knowing their efforts are being imitated to sell such a blockbuster… until they find out just what Trask Industries is up to. Let’s just say, they might want to adjust the formula.