Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It Doesn't Take X-Ray Vision to See Through This Marketing Ploy

In case you've been living under a rock the past few weeks, you might've missed that Singerman was released on DVD yesterday along with a slew of other DVD's that actually relate to the character we know as Superman. Like any other big budget film, ads were all over the place for that one last grab at revenue from the rather lucrative home video market.What really caught our attention was not the volume of ads for the Singerman DVD, but one particularly egregious piece that WB tried to pass off as something charitable, but came off looking about as disingenuous and sleazy as you can possibly get.

On Monday's edition of the Hollywood gossip show "Access Hollywood," sandwiched in between advertisements for the Singerman DVD aired the following piece featuring Singerman star Brandon Routh at a children's hospital.



On the surface you may be thinking, "what's wrong with that? He's visiting sick children." Which any other time, it may have been just that. But given the timing of this segment (the day before the Singerman DVD goes on sale) and the way it's presented by the AH hosts, it's rather obvious that this was solely done for the sake of selling DVD's, which if you ask us pretty damn exploitive and in very poor taste. Where's the evidence for that, you ask? Well consider this?
  • C'mon let's be real, it's aired the evening before the DVD release, it's screaming marketing ploy.
  • After the teaser for the segment aired and before the segment itself, there's a Singerman DVD commercial. (you can see these in beginning of the clip)
  • the female host shills the "2 disc Special Edition DVD" coming out before they introduce the segment.
  • When the hosts introduce the segment, there's a picture of the DVD on the 20 ft tall video screen behind them.
  • Billy Bush makes sure to tell us that "they asked him to do this months ago" so we're not to think this just came up out of the blue, which might've meant it was ya know, spontaneous and somewhat sincere. Of course they asked him months ago, when they planned the rest of the DVD marketing. Duh.
  • look at the huge team of people that are there with Routh to film the segment. If he was just coming to cheer these kids up, why did the cameras need to be there in the first place?
  • the kids in the hospital are WATCHING THE DVD's!!! And Routh makes sure to point that out for us.
Look, and we'll make this really clear, this isn't a shot at Brandon Routh. From all accounts he seems to be a nice guy, though he's been known to have his moments. He's obviously got to go along with this sort of thing to fulfill his PR requirements, and he seemed to actually care about the kids. Who should be taken to task are the marketing people at WB who were trying to pass this "gesture" off as being something genuine on the studio's behalf.

You want to do something meaningful? Do this 6 months from now, or in the months in between the theatrical release and the video game/DVD when you're not peddling anything, and don't do it with the camera crew. Hell if you REALLY want to make a difference in those kids lives, instead of giving them posters and crappy DVD's, why don't you donate some of your precious revenue from those DVD sales to the hospital to ease the burden of paying for the care of those kids?

Last time I checked, Superman didn't seek recognition or attention for his good deeds. He just went about his business happy to know he was making the world a better place. Then again, its not like these guys seem to know much about Superman anyway so maybe I shouldn't be surprised.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really can't go nuts about that i mean yes you have a point about the timing of it on WB's part but the kids seemed to really enjoy themselves. BR is a nice guy and i saw clips of him doing charity work at local schools months ago, so he certainly seems to be a genuine person about stuff like this. To me although WB's intentions certainly were to boost DVD sales as long as the sick kids had fun, i think it was a good thing.

Anonymous said...

most of those kids looked like they had no clue who the hell Routh was.

Anonymous said...

They looked happy to me SSS is really reaching with this one. This is like saying Derek Jeter visiting sick kids is their for the sole purpose of selling Yankees tickets.

Anonymous said...

Some of you have poor reading comprehension skills or just choose to be ignorant. SSS didnt say that the kids didnt look happy. In fact he says nothing about the kids other than them being pawns. He's saying that the whole reason this was done was for the purposes of making Routh look like a good guy to have a piece to help shill the DVD.

Anonymous said...

They looked happy to me SSS is really reaching with this one. This is like saying Derek Jeter visiting sick kids is their for the sole purpose of selling Yankees tickets.

No this is like Jeter visiting sick kids to film a TV spot that's going to air the day before Yankees tickets go on sale, and then airing the piece in the middle of commercials for Yankees tickets.

Anonymous said...

I agree that WB is really reaching for these sales, and I think it's horrible that they exploited those kids like that. But honestly, none of that stuff matters to those kids, and Brandon Routh seems like a pretty good guy. Though, I can't speak for his acting, or his butterflies in doing the role. Really, whatever the motivation (and I'm sure it's purely a marketing ploy), those kids did enjoy his company and that is a realy good thing.

cgeer15

Anonymous said...

You act like this is something that only WB has ever thought of. It happens all. the. time.

Anonymous said...

"Some of you have poor reading comprehension skills or just choose to be ignorant. SSS didnt say that the kids didnt look happy. In fact he says nothing about the kids other than them being pawns. He's saying that the whole reason this was done was for the purposes of making Routh look like a good guy to have a piece to help shill the DVD."

I read just fine, i know what SSS is saying and my point was as long as the kids had a good time i don't care about WB's intentions. BR is a nice guy he has done lots of charity work at schools well before this visit to the hospital. 9 people out 10 sitting home watching that piece are not thinking that it is shameful to exploit kids like that in order to promote DVD's. They are thinking how nice that BR put a smile on those kid's faces.

Anonymous said...

"No this is like Jeter visiting sick kids to film a TV spot that's going to air the day before Yankees tickets go on sale, and then airing the piece in the middle of commercials for Yankees tickets."

Athletes doing charity work is filmed by camera crews all the time, so i stand by my original post.

Anonymous said...

I read just fine, i know what SSS is saying and my point was as long as the kids had a good time i don't care about WB's intentions.

so then the end justifies the means?

9 people out 10 sitting home watching that piece are not thinking that it is shameful to exploit kids like that in order to promote DVD's. They are thinking how nice that BR put a smile on those kid's faces.

I think that's his point, and thats what WB is thinking as well, still doesnt make it right especially in the ridiculously obvious manner in which Excess Hollywood aired it to look like it was a commercial .

so then the end justifies the means?

Anonymous said...

If the means is sick kids having a good time then your damn right it justifies it.

Anonymous said...

Athletes doing charity work is filmed by camera crews all the time, so i stand by my original post.

You original post was just refuted. Yes, athletes do charity work thats filmed all the time, filming it isnt the total issue. Doing the charity work for the purpose of selling trying to sell something, and then airing it like it's a friggen commercial with the product you're trying to sell all over the place is a different story.

Anonymous said...

If the means is sick kids having a good time then your damn right it justifies it.

ok, so using your "logic" if I see a guy walk out of Circuit City with a PS3, walk up to him and shoot him in the head and then I take the PS3 and give it to sick kids and they enjoy it, than that's "OK?"

Anonymous said...

"You original post was just refuted. Yes, athletes do charity work thats filmed all the time, filming it isnt the total issue. Doing the charity work for the purpose of selling trying to sell something, and then airing it like it's a friggen commercial with the product you're trying to sell all over the place is a different story."

No it was not refuted at all, athletes do charity work and many times it is aired during telecasts of their games. Watch some NBA games and they show the players visiting schools all the time to help teach them how to read. You can argue this is just about selling DVD's but the same argument applies to saying it is just about the athletes selling tickets, since it is promoted and aired during the games.

Anonymous said...

"ok, so using your "logic" if I see a guy walk out of Circuit City with a PS3, walk up to him and shoot him in the head and then I take the PS3 and give it to sick kids and they enjoy it, than that's "OK?"

What a fucking dumb comparison, get a clue will ya. Take your hatred for SR and put it aside this is not a big deal at all.

Anonymous said...

"What a fucking dumb comparison, get a clue will ya. Take your hatred for SR and put it aside this is not a big deal at all."

You know it is not a big deal by how carefully SSS worded his post. You can only take a shot at something like in a certain way. SSS is like yes the kids are happy but they are being exploited. BR seems to be a nice guy and it is not his fault. Bottom line there is more good in this then bad.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree i can not make a big deal about this especially since Routh seems like a very genuine good guy.

Anonymous said...

I bet all the kids were like "Who the fuck is this guy?"

Anonymous said...

Singer is a FAG and Superman Returns was gay.

Anonymous said...

ok, so using your "logic" if I see a guy walk out of Circuit City with a PS3, walk up to him and shoot him in the head and then I take the PS3 and give it to sick kids and they enjoy it, than that's "OK?"


WTF? Stupid analogy. Comparing this to somebody getting shot is one of the stupidest fucking things I have ever read.

Again, this post by SSS is over the line. And SSS knew this was close to the line, hence the disclaimer that it really isn't about Brandon Routh..

Last I checked they didn't exactly say " See these sick kids fans? Buy the DVD's and they will magically feel better, and maybe just maybe they will be cured."

No, what they did was give the kids free copies of the movie and a chance to visit Superman himself. There is nothing wrong with that, nor is there anything wrong with using the visit to remind people that the movie is coming to video.

Anonymous said...

I sort of get SSS's point about explotation but i agree with some of the other posters. These kids got a free copy of the movie and many of them watched it with BR while he signed posters for them and put a smile on their faces. There is FAR more good to this story than bad, you really struck out with this one SSS.

Anonymous said...

OH hell, those poor kids are being forced to endure Singerman. ooohh that's horrible.

Anonymous said...

After the camera stopped rolling, someone probably told that kid to pay for the dvd he watched.

This is just absolutely spineless ploy by WB to sell this dvd since they're so desperate.

God, just listen to lex in the add. That's the best line they could use? A cliche line about "returning the favoooooooooooor."

I'd have used the lame Wrooooooooooong, quote. Becuase that's what this is, wrong to exploit children for some marketing ploy.

Goddamit, Singerman.

Anonymous said...

WTF? Stupid analogy. Comparing this to somebody getting shot is one of the stupidest fucking things I have ever read.

Not stupid at all when you look at it. It's an extreme example of "the ends justifying the means" logic that the guy was using to prove a point,that just because it puts a smile on a few kid's faces doesnt make how they went about it right. If they're only there for the kids for the purpose of having some schleppy "feel good" piece to air with their DVD commercial on Access Hollywood than the gesture is rather hollow, despite whether the kids know that or not.

S.S.S. said...

"Again, this post by SSS is over the line. And SSS knew this was close to the line, hence the disclaimer that it really isn't about Brandon Routh.."

My comment about Routh doesnt indicate anything about me thinking this was "over the line." It isn't about Routh, like I said he looked sincere doing it even if the whole reason WB had him there in the first place wasn't, which is the real issue.
I thought I'd preface that before the usual crowd of people attacked me for being "anti-Routh" and completely ignored the points the article makes. Hell the piece itself isn't much of an issue, the way it was used as part of AH's pitch to shill the DVD is what truly disgusts me.
Obviously some people are unable to get past the fact that I'm calling out WB on visiting kids in a hospital, but if you really look at the context in which the piece aired, the ulterior motive here is rather insipid.

Anonymous said...

Routh has had a LOT of moments--we just didn't hear about them until recently, because he was such a non-entity (and still is, really).

A friend of mine is a big soap opera fan--you may remember BR's first big break was working on "One Life to Live". Well, what you may not know is that he was fired from that soap because the audience didn't like him(and he was apparently a bit of a pain to work with to boot). It's hardly a big deal for a soap actor to be let go--happens all the time.

Routh had a blog promoting his work on the show (of course he did), and after he was fired (another actor replaced him in the role he was playing, and nobody cared) he posted a wounded bitter rant, attacking his employers, that concluded by saying--

"That said, I will leave God to judge those who have wronged me. And I do forgive them, in hopes that someday they will understand what they have done."

Two words--Drama. Queen.

;)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my mistake--it was General Hospital. He played the character of Seth Anderson.

Anonymous said...

Sorry again--I checked IMDb, because I wasn't sure, and turns out IMDb was wrong--not my friend--he played Seth Anderson for about eleven months on One Life to Live.

I'd copy his whole rant here, but can't seem to do that in this format.

Anonymous said...

"Not stupid at all when you look at it. It's an extreme example of "the ends justifying the means" logic that the guy was using to prove a point,that just because it puts a smile on a few kid's faces doesnt make how they went about it right."

His logic is beyond stupid, if you compare visiting kids in a hospital and making them smile to putting a bullet in someones head and handing them a gift as a means of making them smile, you sound like a psycho. I agree with SSS that it is a bit exploitive, but since i have heard a lot of nice things about Routh and this is not something that is unusual in any way shape or form, i can not make an issue out of it like SSS has.

Anonymous said...

"this is not something that is unusual in any way shape or form, i can not make an issue out of it like SSS has."

Yeah i mean see pieces like this on Extra, ET, Access Hollywood all those shows pretty much every single week.

Anonymous said...

yes you do, but are the people shilling something as part of showing them in the hospital?

And even if they are, does it make it more right that Hollywood marketers choose to be slimey if "everyone else is doing it?"

Anonymous said...

His logic is beyond stupid, if you compare visiting kids in a hospital and making them smile to putting a bullet in someones head and handing them a gift as a means of making them smile, you sound like a psycho.

You're STILL missing the point. Of course the gravity of the situations is different, thats the point, but they still both fall under his criteria of the end justifying the means. It's just an extreme example to sho how foolish that premise is.
Do you think Superman is an "ends justify the means" kinda guy? FUCK NO, he does the right thing no matter what. Something these scuzzball suits have no clue about.

Anonymous said...

I can not believe anyone is trying to make a big deal out of this. SSS post something about how WB screwed up their ultimate collection dVD's. That would have some merit but this right here has none whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

And even if they are, does it make it more right that Hollywood marketers choose to be slimey if "everyone else is doing it?"


Then take issue with how studio's run their business. Brandon Routh would have done this regardless if the camera's were there or not. I don't have a problem with this at all. This film has taken so much heat, that it was nice to see kids excited to meet Superman.

If what the WB was doing was so exploitive then the hospital would never have let them in. But this happens all.the. time. It's a way for the hospitals to cheer up the kids, for the WB to market the movie, and for the hospital to get it out there that these kids need help and shouldn't be ignored.

This whole blog entry is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Anonymous said...

funny I thought the whole point of the article WAS that it took issue with the studio not Routh. SSS went out of his way to clarify that. And you're really in no position to say what Routh would and wouldn't do. No one is.

Anonymous said...

"This whole blog entry is making a mountain out of a mole hill."

An then some SSS is running low on ideas, this certainly proves that. Right now i am sure he is begging for the DVD sales to be bad or else he will have nothing left to complain about.

Anonymous said...

""That said, I will leave God to judge those who have wronged me. And I do forgive them, in hopes that someday they will understand what they have done."

Two words--Drama. Queen.

;) "

Hahaha, this seems to be completely unrelated, but that's okay. I go off topic, too. Come on out there, how funny was this? Does anybody have the link for this?

Poster?

cgeer15

Anonymous said...

SSS this is low even for you. I dare you to tell me if you loved this movie that you would find fault in those same actions by BR and WB. Would you be saying yeah i loved the movie but that is wrong to promote a DVD like that, i highly doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Exactly...And if Johnny Depp or something were to do it for Pirates then nobody would say a thing. But because SSS has a hard on for Superman Returns he is going to bring this type of crap up.

oh and everyone keeps pointing to BR's blog post way back when. He actually apologized for that, and has since explained where his head was at when that happened. He's admitted how dumb it was.

Anonymous said...

Sadly BR is a HUGE DRAMA QUEEN, as those in the soap opera world can attest.

The guys careers is collapsing around him, he seems to be an ego-centric ass, hard to work with, yet he comes across as a nice guy in interviews, too bad his screen acting weren't half as good, he might be believable.

Oh well, he is toast, career wise. The movie was a major disappointment for the studio, taking careers with it.

Luckily, we won't have BR to kick around much longer.

Joel1245 said...

"Exactly...And if Johnny Depp or something were to do it for Pirates then nobody would say a thing. But because SSS has a hard on for Superman Returns he is going to bring this type of crap up."

SSS never said that it doesn't happen with other movies. He's discussing the failures of SR, not other films. If Johnny Depp or someone else did it to promote their DVD sales then so be it, it happened. SSS is only discussing SR where SR is concerned. His point: WB is trying to get all the promotion they can from a film that didn't perform like they were hoping. Not Brandon's fault.

Anonymous said...

I know but what I was saying was that if Disney did this with Pirates nobody would say a thing and there would be no problem. But since it's WB's and Superman Returns suddenly it's a crime against humanity.

Anonymous said...

"The guys careers is collapsing around him, he seems to be an ego-centric ass, hard to work with, yet he comes across as a nice guy in interviews, too bad his screen acting weren't half as good, he might be believable."

What a bullshit baseless accusation to make. Even SSS has had to reluctantly admit that the man seems to be a very good guy.

Anonymous said...

link for cgeer15 is here.

routh was the worst actor on oltl. complete smeghead. he couldn't act his way out of phone booth as seth neverless superman.

Anonymous said...

Actually my sister watches oltl and she liked him when he was on that show. The guy they replaced him with got canned quickly also.

Anonymous said...

Everyone chill.

Superman Returns sucks and there's nothing WB can do about it no matter how many hospitals they visit.

Anonymous said...

"Superman Returns sucks and there's nothing WB can do about it no matter how many hospitals they visit."

What are you panicked that the DVD may sell well? Odds are it will sell well from what i have heard it is already.

S.S.S. said...

SSS this is low even for you. I dare you to tell me if you loved this movie that you would find fault in those same actions by BR and WB. Would you be saying yeah i loved the movie but that is wrong to promote a DVD like that, i highly doubt it.

If I loved this movie (which would mean I was either lobotomized or the movie was completely different), this blog wouldn't exist. However I'd still take issue with this type of shameless promotion. You see I have both the ability to be critical of things I like and to give credit to things I dislike, unlike most of the diehard fanboys that post on the internet.


I know but what I was saying was that if Disney did this with Pirates nobody would say a thing and there would be no problem. But since it's WB's and Superman Returns suddenly it's a crime against humanity.

Actually I have many issues with the unscrupulous ways corporate America conducts business. I did a thesis paper on the Enron and Worldcom disasters, and have been weary ever since. However the majority of that isnt relevant to this blog, so I dont talk about it here.

I dont normally watch AH either, I just happened to flip around and see them talking about a Superman segment so I watched and was floored by what I saw. Whether Depp or "everyone else" does it still doesn't make it right. If he did, and this blog was entitled "Verbinski's Pirates Suck" perhaps I'd address it here. I do however find it particularly appalling coming from the people responsible for allegedly furthering the Superman legacy.

Anonymous said...

"I do however find it particularly appalling coming from the people responsible for allegedly furthering the Superman legacy."

You find BR and WB putting smiles on kids faces appalling. Your problem is you are completely in the minority on this issue. I have seen the comments of this video on youtube and other sites they are 90% positive. I showed it to everyone in my family and they all thought it was a great thing what they did for those kids. Was WB using it as a means of promotion? Yes they were but the good in this far outweighs the bad. Lets go over the good, BR shows up handing out free merchandise that he is signing and watching the DVD with many of the sick kids in the hospital. The bad, WB used this as a means of promoting the DVD. I am baffled why you would harp on the one negative when so much more good came out of this then bad. Bottom line this is not unusual in any way and the kids had fun let it go SSS.

Anonymous said...

Why do you keep arguing that? The ends in this case doesn't justify the means. They weren't giving those kids this horrible movie out of the goodness of their hearts.

That's what SSS is saying and it's true. You see that, so what is there to argue?

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to lose the last inkling of respect I had for routh because of this. i knew he was just an eager young puppet in Singer's big retarded idea, but now it's even more clear he's no more than a mannequin they prop up in front of the camera and try to pass off as superman. This is just sad, man. It's SUPERMAN. Why do you need to use little kids to sell this?

And apologists, will you go watch your dvds and shut up? Or at least stop messing with my friend SSS here. I ask this as one human being who thinks if you think singer's delivered the second coming of jesus, that's all good. I won't come to your house and chuck a piano at you.

Anonymous said...

So can somebody find a single example of Brandon Routh doing stuff for kids back before he was cast as Superman?

Btw, the DVD sales? Not so great.

S.S.S. said...

You find BR and WB putting smiles on kids faces appalling.

Yes, because I hate sick children... C'mon now, I dont know how many more times I can make it clearer that my issues are with the means to that end, and the motivation behind them. A good deed is spoiled IMO if the reason you're doing it is for your own benefit.

Your problem is you are completely in the minority on this issue. I have seen the comments of this video on youtube and other sites they are 90% positive.

Really? That's funny because whem I had the video loaded up to YouTube I didnt turn the comments feature on.

Anonymous said...

What is your freaking problem S.S.S. Why can't you see Routh as a good man, Why do you bash him. He went to see kids in the hospital for crynight loud, Just like Reeve's did and cameras where their too.

Let me ask you something, Because based on this blog , I'm getting the feeling your a smallville "Tom Welling " fan .

My Question is "Has Tom Welling done any charity work ?"

Because I've yet to see him do shit .

Brandon routh on the other hand has . Just like Reeve did.

Anonymous said...

^ to the anonymous poster above, you're a moron who doesnt read. "crynight" loud?? Trying "crying out" loud, you dope.
How many times can SSS, not only in the original post but also mutliple times in these comments, say his issue isnt with Brandon Routh but with WB? You must be some smacktard from Bluetights.net...

And what the holy FUCK does Tom Welling or Smallville have to do with any of this????

Anonymous said...

"Really? That's funny because whem I had the video loaded up to YouTube I didnt turn the comments feature on."

You are not the only one that uploaded it retard, this thing is all over the net.

Anonymous said...

I couldnt find it anywhere else on YouTube other than SSS's link.

The fact that you feel the need to stoop to calling the guy names shows he's bested you.

Anonymous said...

I'll remember that everytime some of these anonymous comments start calling us names and saying shit about our mothers.

Anonymous said...

"The fact that you feel the need to stoop to calling the guy names shows he's bested you."

I think SSS got it from BR.com, i saw it over there and they are talking about it on his message board. I saw someone had it on Dailymotion and there were mainly pro-comments about it.

Anonymous said...

"I'll remember that everytime some of these anonymous comments start calling us names and saying shit about our mothers."

Oh absolutely when you hear shit like this "You liked SR you are an apologist fucktard who takes it up the ass from Singer". Then they boast like they just won the argument.

Anonymous said...

Well if you guys can say shit like this..

"The fact that you feel the need to stoop to calling the guy names shows he's bested you"

Then it proves our argument when we say things like this...

"Then they boast like they just won the argument."

Oh and thanks for proving my point with this..

"Oh absolutely when you hear shit like this "You liked SR you are an apologist fucktard who takes it up the ass from Singer"."

Anonymous said...

Well if you guys can say shit like this..

"The fact that you feel the need to stoop to calling the guy names shows he's bested you"

Then it proves our argument when we say things like this...

"Then they boast like they just won the argument."

Oh and thanks for proving my point with this..

"Oh absolutely when you hear shit like this "You liked SR you are an apologist fucktard who takes it up the ass from Singer"."

You guys who the hell are you even referring to, your post is all over the map.

Anonymous said...

heh..I just realized you were agreeing with me...lol..oops, pay no attention to the last post..

Anonymous said...

OK guys, just stay off the crack for a while...