Changing A Movie's Advertising Focus

The Battle of Shaker Heights changed from melodrama to light comedy.

About ten years ago, there was a movie “Alive” based on the true-life account of a South American soccer team whose plane went down in the Andes (?) mountains and, with no other food source, had to resort to cannibalism to survive (they ate some airline passengers who had died in the crash.) The first few ads I saw for this flick emphasized the horrific nature of the crash, and highlighted the fact that these men were reduced to eating human flesh; your basic horror movie trailer.

After the movie came out, and it became apparent that the general movie-going population didn’t want to see a movie about cannibalism, new ads came out not mentioning the cannibalism at all, and billed the flick as a “courageous story about the human spirit.” Man against nature, buddies defying all the odds to stay “Alive”,
that sort of thing.

So was Fantasia, which didn’t make a profit until Walt died and hallucinogenic drugs were the “in” thing.

I find it very amusing when the same film is advertised entirely differently to different audiences. Some recent examples include Pearl Harbor and Armageddon, both of which were advertised as romances during women’s programming (soap operas, Lifetime movies), complete with soft lighting and closeup kisses, and as action flicks during sporting events, with explosion filled ads.