Friday, December 14, 2007

Jackass Marketing.

Never underestimate the power of hype or the lengths a studio will go to to find it's audience. For that matter, never overestimate the buying discretion of a moron. With that thought in mind, welcome to marketing Jackass, the movie that is.

I'd like to think that Paramount is realizing many of the young male MTV audience for it's Jackass films have a difficult time finding a movie theater, let alone their cars or their car keys, so why not just let them sit at home in their basements (where most of them are still reading the instructions to Halo 3) and watch a new (read: recycled and repackaged) Jackass movie there. They've apparently also realized that calling the film Jackass 2.5 would either confuse them or suggest something new and exciting, rather than the truth, which is that 2.5 is really 2 with extra footage (a trick from DVD releases). Is this really a marketing exploration of new release models, or a guilty excuse for putting out a film so much like the last version that it would anger a paying audience? The 2.5 must mean something and I doubt (though considering the film, I may be wrong) that the moviemakers couldn't count to 3.

Let's get to some truth and get off the "bold new marketing concept" crap. This is sub-standard stuff that widely plays to the YouTube molded minds of young male audiences that take their entertainment doses in commercial size bits that quickly fill the little bit of cognitive space between their ears. That makes do-it-on-the-cheap "webisodes" the ideal place to find out if any more profit can be squeezed out of the lame, eyes glazed over, time wasting that MTV brands as entertainment. This isn't movie marketing, this is website marketing. Just go to Jackassworld.com (no, that's not a link, you'll have to be smart enough, or dumb enough as the case may be, to go find it on your own). Gee, ya think this may be all about a way to drive internet traffic? Duh?

I have no bitches about selling idiocy to idiots but for this one exception. For The Hollywood Reporter to describe this stunt as "a radical departure from the traditional movie business model" is preposterous. Ed Burns releasing an independent feature directly to iTunes last month was a legitimate departure. The New York Times got it right when they called this direct-to-net release a "web test". Paramount's idea is just that, a marketing stunt, and the idea of releasing a movie on the web as a marketing tool to advertise a website, is an exercise in desperation to recapture it's audience, which suffers from a chronically short attention span. 

Paramount has admitted that most of Jackass 2.5 was shot for Jackass 2 (and presumably cut from the final print of the latter for good reason), so no one's exactly "invested" in this industry shaking event. President of Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment, Thomas Lesinski said "If this works, it could open up and really change the game about additional content that studios can create." Now we're getting to the heart of it. Creating a market for additional content translates to creating additional revenue. Yes, it's about money, not trail blazing a new path to feature release marketing.

The Hollywood Reporter reportedly commented that "...2.5 could end up a milestone in Hollywood's transition to digital media". Is The Hollywood Reporter suggesting that this is a glimpse into the future of feature length movie distribution? Perhaps they better begin their own transition to becoming a video game fanzine. Just please cut all of the crap. The moviemakers and the audience for this may be jackasses, but the rest of us aren't. Though apparently there are a few over at The Hollywood Reporter hanging on every detail of this silliness. Someone give them their lunch money and send them over to the arcade, then let's get back to business.

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