The Greatest Showman
NBC used “This Is Me” from the movie in an inspirational commercial promoting the upcoming Winter Olympics coverage, seeming to overlook that the song is about being proud in your outsider status and drowning out the crowds calling you a freak, not just about achieving greatness. Still…not the most tone-deaf spot during the Super Bowl thanks to the presence of Dodge Ram and its commercial using an out-of-context snippet of a Martin Luther King Jr. speech.
First off, yes, I know this wasn’t actually a movie. But here’s the final commercial for Tourism Australia that ran during the Super Bowl, which has McBride acknowledging after he and Hemsworth keep skipping across different locations that it’s not actually a movie, which is great. Love the small cameo by Paul Hogan. Both Fast Company and The Hollywood Reporter have background interviews with the cast and others about the making of the spot. And the Australia bureau chief for The New York Times says the time is right for just this kind of movie to show off the current version of the country.
Natalie Portman appeared on “Saturday Night Live” to promote her upcoming Annihilation but in one sketch recreated her performance as the widow of John F. Kennedy in one skit to offer some First Lady advice to Melania Trump. She also updated her foul-mouthed rap career, including references to the Star Wars Prequels and Black Swan.
Director Taika Waititi continues to be an absolute wonder with this introduction to the film that’s part of the push for its home video release.
The Cloverfield Paradox
To say the movie has proved divisive would be an understatement, though I maintain that people criticizing Netflix for its zero-turnaround-time marketing would be singing a different tune if they liked the movie more. CNBC has a take similar to my Adweek story and the write-up at Quartz is worth reading as well. And while David Fear at Rolling Stone says we’ve been suckered, Neil Turitz at Tracking Board sees some of the same potential I did.
The Hollywood Reporter quotes sources saying Netflix paid $50 million Paramount for the movie, helping the studio not only cover production costs but also earn a nice profit since it didn’t have to spend any money on distribution or marketing. And it may have been worth it. While reviews have not been kind, a survey gauging how Super Bowl spots moved the needle on purchase consideration found Netflix got the biggest lift this year as people were intrigued by the mysterious commercial and release strategy.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.