Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Whatever works

I live with a lapsed Woody Allen fan (it was the tennis film set in England that did it - "rubbish", apparently, though that's just a summary).

She noted today that the advert to his latest film - 'Whatever Works', out on Friday - is a cunning piece of marketing (below). As you can see, it features the great Larry David doing a trademark 'Curb' shrug of incredulity with the stars above and the production credits below, the latter almost unreadably small (even on the poster).



Now, the title is written in the font the titles of Woody Allen films are almost always written in (EF Windsor, again, apparently); this means his still-loyal aficionados will know it's by him and make a mental note to see it.

But this is the only clue - and an obscure one - to the film's Allen origins for the casual browser; his name only appears at the far right of the unreadably small production credits. So, people like me - a fan of 'Curb' but unversed in the semiotics of film poster fonts - will think: "Great, a film with Larry David in it - if I could get a babysitter I might go to see that". Rather than be put off by the fact it was written and directed by someone who must have filmed nearly as many turkeys as he's eaten at Thanksgiving since around about the 'Bullets Over Broadway' / 'Mighty Aphrodite' period.

An elegant bit of segmented marketing, if a bit humbling for Woody. But whatever works, eh?

6 comments:

zmkc said...

If you want a babysitter, my 20-year-old daughter will be living in Tufnell Park most of the summer and has lots of experience with children and babysitting. She can teach the boys piano and clarinet at the same time, if you want (I know that wasn't the main thrust of your post, but I do remember that finding good babysitters was always an issue)

Gaw said...

Thanks z, that's very thoughtful. We usually get our babysitters from the nursery and they're usually available - that is unless you leave it too late. The 'if I can get a babysitter' question is only there because of my own dilatoriness. It's probably because going to the pictures is something of a spur of the moment thing for me.

Your daughter sounds very accomplished. Is she a student over here? And by the way, is 'home' Oz or the UK for you?

zmkc said...

She is a student - just finished first year of English and seems to have extensive - some might say too extensive - vac (nothing till October, but supposed to write some huge dissertation [allegedly]). She did a gap year working in a primary school in Dulwich. We were living there - in London - for a few years but are now back in Australia (see first posts of blog - originally started it in attempt to work out how I felt about both places [I was born a dual national and I think I will never feel fully one nationality or the other {not necessarily a bad thing}]) To complicate matters, we also have a flat in Budapest - possibly the place I feel most at home (?!?? hmmm)

Gaw said...

Never been to Budapest but would like to. I hear good things. My missus is part Hungarian (with a Viennese father) so we should go there one day. Hardly a weekend break destination from Oz though...

zmkc said...

Austro-Hungarian, none better. It's not a weekender; it's our European headquarters (we hold meetings of the World Domination League there, with EL Wisty stuffed in a glass cabinet, present but not voting, a la Jeremy Bentham).

Gaw said...

I bet EL Wisty could never have guessed Budapest would end up as his final resting place.