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Commercials Sneak Into the Movies

All of us here love ads to death, no? Well, I love 'em. it's just I wish they knew their boundaries. Commercials are for the small screen, agreed? Well, they've slowly begun to take over the bigger screen. The MUCH bigger screen.

I go to the movies quite a lot. I know it used to bad enough at the beginning. Has the movie been buried under all of these previews? Well, now the previews have competition for the title of big screen bug. Moving in on their turf is the one and only...commercial, lady's and gentleman! Oh sure, sometimes those commercials relate to what's up at the concession stand; Coke, candy...ect. Sometimes it's movie related; get your tickets at Fandango! But then there's that big bug you just hate! Join the marines, join the army, join the navy. We've been waiting for you. I've gotta be brutally honest here. Is it really ok to be showin' this stuff at kids movies? I see a G, PG movie and there they are! Naturally, it's targeting those future generations, but come on!

Another problem is those ads that are a little out there. Plenty of times I've spotted those Nestea Cool ads featuring our dear friend, the perverted snowman. The one I've spotted most often is the Charlie's Angels one. Snowman sits in a car, but you wouldn't know he's a snowman. He's a skeleton at the steering wheel, watching "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" at the drive-in. He gulps and gurgles down his Nestea and his bones become snow covered. But then he sees the angels and his body heat increases to the max as can be seen when his 'skin' melts off. Picture that at a kids movie. Ech...

Now that commercials have arrived on the scene, it's mania waiting for the movie. Next time you go to the movies, expect a 10-14 minute viewing of commercials+previews. Happy viewing. Hey, wake up!

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Dabitch's picture

In Europe, we had commercials at the movies loooong before we had
commercials on the telly. Some theorize this is why so many great commercial directors come from Scandinavia and other places that didn't get commercials television until the late eighties or early nineties, and that the fact our ads were made for the big screen influenced our cinematic language in advertising - ads made for the big screen need to be good [and well shot!]. ;)

Odd how ya'll are doing it backwards.

StormBear's picture

It is geting out of hand. When I went to see Return of the King, there were 35 minutes of commercials that ran BEFORE the movie. Now since ROTK goes on for about 3 hours and 40 minutes, the martial art of extreme bladder control comes in handy.

yaksox's picture

Very interesting. There's been ads at the cinema in australia for quite a while too, but it's extremely underutilised. Where I watch from, most of the ads are single-screen stills with a V/O for local restaurants. There's only a couple of minutes worth. If there are ads for global products (like fanta) there's no link with TV campaigns.

Obviously it can be overdone and 30mins (even with film trailers) is way over the top, but a cinema ad is easily 10X more effective than a TVC. Dabs is right though - they have to be done by someone who knows how to take advantage of the Big Screen and dolby sound.

Robblink's picture

Has anyone in the US seen the Playstation commercial in the theaters? It's the regular TV ad, but blown up to the movie screen size. For some reason, the game graphics are pixilated on the screen. It looks awful!

Dabitch's picture

Over here we do it different.

a) the time when the movie starts and not the time when the ads start are printed on the tickets. Only die-hard adlovers show up before the ads start ;). Since the cinema ads are usually fab, and premiere new ads (at new movies) 50% of the theatre is usually in their seats when the ads start. It's half the fun.

b) since all seats are numbered, people hang around the foyer rather than crowd in to get the best seats, this way those who hate ads can avoid them while buying popcorn instead.

c) The ads are never longer than 20 minutes [or at least, it never happened when I was at the movies], this includes previews of other films.

caffeinegoddess's picture

If they adopted this at US theatres maybe people wouldn't be so ticked off by it. I think they should. It makes sense and the numbered seating is good as a general thing anyways.

TimothyOnline's picture

Call me an American who's coked-up on conservative banter, but exposing little kids to the attitude, discipline and poise that comes with being in the military...combined with a sense of duty and love for country...are not things I see as negative.  It gives them something positive for which they can strive.  If they have any real aspirations of joining, it can help keep them out of trouble (well...at least too much).

TDD's picture

I go to the live theatre, or a picture theatre that only plays old movies. No commercials.

Dabitch's picture

Odd sudden interest for a post from 2004... :))

TDD's picture

Ha! I didn't even notice the dates! :)