The Genius Marketing Behind the ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot

Ahoy!

One of the most memorable movies of the 1980s is Ghostbusters.  It’s filled with great quotes and moments that will always live on in the minds of the millions of fans that still hold the film in high regard. Unlike a lot of other 80s fantasy films, this one has held its value no matter how many times you watch it. It’s one of those rare movies that just seems to hit all the right notes.

They made a sequel, because $$$, and it was…well…mediocre. It had its moments, sure (Peter MacNicol screaming “It’s VIGO!” is still hilarious to me), but for the most part it was a forgettable mess. The notion that a third film would come to pass was a thing of legend, and as time passed, it became clear that such a movie would never be made.

However, we were wrong.

The Hollywood powers-that-be realized that never making another Ghostbusters film would be missing out on a huge opportunity, and so the project got the green light, and now we are less than a month from its premier.

Oh, and in case you somehow missed it, the new film features a cast of women Ghostbusters. Many people have hyperventilated over that fact, and if you’re one of them, you should wear a sign that identifies you as an asshat. It just makes identification easier for the rest of us.

With that out of the way, I’m not here to defend the film. I have little doubt it is going to be a turd sandwich served on that godawful Ezekiel bread that the health nuts rave about and tastes like dirty cardboard.

My reasoning?  For that, we’ll reference the laws of how movie trailers work. Before you call me something colorful for making my judgment upon a trailer, I want it to be understood: movie trailers are intended to show highlights of a movie. They’re made to entice viewers to pay ten bucks for a ticket. A great trailer doesn’t mean a great movie; Man of Steel proved that. But a bad trailer almost always means the movie is going to be bad as well, and the new Ghostbusters film has trailers that look atrocious.

The jokes look awful. The CGI looks embarrassing. It looks like a painfully bad movie that if not for bearing the title Ghostbusters might not even get much attention at all. It would appear to be a boring affair at best, and dreadful at worst. I think the film is going to reek and that has nothing to do with the fact that it stars women.

That’s where the marketing twist comes in. The assumed misogyny of everyone who is speaking ill of the movie has opened up a brilliant media campaign opportunity for the filmmakers and the stars. Simply put, they have an angle to shame the hell out of anyone that dares challenge the quality of this movie before its release.

Take for instance director Paul Feig, who compared the Internet detractors of his film to “Trump supporters”, which is the Hollywood equivalent to a “yo mamma” burn.  The actresses have joined in the media crucifixion of those doubting the movie’s potential merits. Even the cover of Entertainment Weekly calls out naysayers as being sexist. (It’s the same style of convenient outrage that guarantees any Caucasian who speaks poorly of Obama’s presidency will be called a racist. – Ed.)

Sexism certainly plays a role. Recently we saw Marvel Comics make a couple of major changes in some of their oldest characters.  Captain America went from being white to black. Iceman of the X-Men was outed as gay. And Thor went from being a god to a goddess. Thousands of fans raged. They hated seeing the characters they’d known and loved suddenly changed. Many of them took to message boards, ranting about the sudden PC push from Marvel. A lot of the comments, protected by anonymity, were really quite ugly. For fans, change can be a bitter pill that garners awful reactions.

The new Ghostbusters film has its share of this sort of bitterness as well; there are plenty of people furious with the idea for no reason other than the gender role-reversal of the stars.

There are also a lot of people like myself who couldn’t care less about gender. If handled correctly, these women could make a great movie experience.  The problem that I am having is that it doesn’t look like it’s been handled correctly at all. It looks like garbage left out in the heat.

But that won’t stop those behind the film from calling any early detractors sexist or (a Twitter favorite) misogynistic.  This feeds right into the current favorite trend in social media: unreasonable outrage. Now every amateur SJW is calling out anyone that mocks the new film.  This, in turn, is helping conceal the fact that the movie has terrible-looking trailers, because nobody wants to be branded a sexist, misogynistic asshole.

I’ll be interested in seeing if they try to keep up this narrative if the movie bombs. Which I’m pretty sure it will.

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All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Deck Ape...or anyone else. Arrr!

Jonathan Praise

Jonathan Praise is a writer, in the sense that he occasionally sits down in front of a keyboard and punches buttons, turning the blank page into a collection of letters and words. He rarely finishes anything, so the reader should feel somewhat special for actually witnessing the completion of this article. He is currently working on CLEAVE and THE ADVENTURES OF SKULLBOY when he isn't being a husband and father of dubious quality.

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