Take Warner Bros. “Going in Style,” a new theatrical film about some straight-and-narrow older guys looking for payback when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty.
On a recent bus stop outdoor signage, you can see the film’s title a much smaller font on the bottom of the billboard. On the top, in a bigger size of the same font nnotes: “You’re Never Too Old to Get Even.” You wonder: Maybe the movie producers had some last-minute remorse when it comes to the movie’s title?
For big consumer entertainment, the aim might be to pull in the most people possible — young, old, male and female. And, of course, we know entertainment properties can offer many different creative executions, depending on the media venue, time and place.
Another current movie, “Life,” is a scary sci-fi adventure about the first evidence of extraterrestrial life. Two decades ago, this title could easily be more of a romantic comedy, a buddy-cop film, or perhaps a nature-like story about a lovable bear, tiger… or bee.
Back to TV: Maybe CBS’ very funny comedy “Life in Pieces” could have been a bit of horror entertainment. No sci-fi stuff here. ABC’s second season of “The Catch”? It is not about a game-winning World Series 9th inning baseball play; the show is a thriller about a successful private investigator, who is conned by her fiance.
In the digital media age — which expands entertainment and other content exponentially every day, every hour — there continues to fight for attention. TV and movie entertainment marketing professionals have their work cut out these days.
Veteran TV/media research executive Steve Sternberg has advocated for some time (as well as TV Watch) that broadcast TV networks would do well to copy their cable TV network brethren. It would allow all networks to cross-promote TV shows on each other’s airwaves — through local TV ad inventory, available promotional spots or other non-program time.
Future movie or TV program titles -- which might describe, tease and/or be used as a tangential market tool -- would seem to carry more weight these days. Or maybe it's something else. Let's go with the idea of grabbing short-term-minded media consumers, getting what you can -- or just leaving them shrugging shoulders.