Monday, November 8, 2010

Word & Image: Children of Men

Arguably one of my favorite movies of all time, Children of Men encapsulates a reality without a future, literally. A child hasn't been born for almost two decades and humanity is beginning to lose hope, a concept which has eluded the world for far too long. This motion picture is an absolute masterpiece, winning numerous awards for it's breathtaking cinematography in 2007. Not only does the movie shine on the big screen, but so too does it's advertising/marketing campaign. I'm aware this will strike confusion in many since this movie is still flying under the radar. With that being said, how have it's promotional method been so successful?

I remember watching the trailer for Children of Men in the theaters and was immediately anticipating it's release. I also recall noticing promotional materials, such as billboards and posters, beginning to populate urban areas. They aren't difficult to miss with such taglines as, "The future's a thing of the past" and "The last one to die please turn out the light". These advertisements utilized completely white backgrounds with unkempt, stenciled lettering, most likely to give the effect of spray painted graffiti. The title of the movie in the bottom right of the posters incorporates a similar font, keeping true to the relationship between the taglines and the overall dark theme of the film.

This marketing strategy is risky, relying heavily on a simple phrase to put people in the theaters. Not only do the tones of the phrases make you think, but the font also evokes a sense of disturbance where the only available answer lies in actually viewing a screening, or having a friend give you a synopsis, but where's the fun in that?

Children of Men is a film of hope, yet you might not be able to tell from the posters. However, the posters are what put people in the seats. It worked on me.

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