Friday, July 4, 2008

Why Wall-E Worked

Did you go see Wall-E last weekend? I did. Thought it was quite a good movie. In fact, I thought it would be a good flick to catch back when I first saw the first trailer for it.

But apparently not everybody thought the marketing for Wall-E was up to snuff. In particular, marketing guru Seth Godin wrote this piece about how Pixar "messed up" the marketing of Wall-E:

It has a hard to spell name, no furry characters, not nearly enough dialogue (the first 45 minutes is almost silent), no nasty (but ultimately ridiculous) bad guy, hardly any violence and very little slapstick. Wall-e didn't get a huge Hollywood PR campaign or even a lot of promotion, it doesn't feature any hot stars and as far as I can tell, the merchandising options are quite limited.

Godin says it was "bravery" that led Pixar and Disney not to "pander to the masses", and that their bravery has unexpectedly paid off.

Interesting, but here's my take:

With the recent and upcoming releases of movies such as Madagascar 2, Ice Age 3, Kung-Fu Panda, Space Chimps, etc., it was actually refreshing to see a CG animated movie that didn't star a cute furry creature voiced by a big-name celebrity.

So, I'm not sure if it was "bravery" that motivated Pixar and Disney to create Wall-E, as Godin states. I think it was actually a very calculated move to do something different and be distinct from the rest of the animated pack.

But let's face it -- in the end, it's a Pixar film. Whether it stars cuddly critters or metallic robots, there's no way a Pixar movie was gonna flop on its opening weekend.