For the past couple of years, BNP–a large French bank–sponsors the annual event, Le Printemps du Cinéma or The Cinema in the Spring. During this three-day event, all participating movie theaters discount their movie prices by about 50%. This event started in 2000 and is likely the reply to many DVD and streaming services. The goal of this event is to entice potential clients to come in at the reduced price to remind them of the advantages of the cinema with the intention of having them come in more often.
Every year, this event is announced with a short advertisement. Generally, this advertisement has depicted a comic scene at the movies. This year though, the advertisement was in the form of a movie trailer of a family outing gone terribly wrong. The message of the advertisement is “Don’t lose your kids in the woods. Come to the movies instead.” The idea of using the form of a trailer is very unique and forces the viewer to think of what they are watching. When at the movies, viewers tend to ignore all of the ads and only become attentive whenever a trailer comes on. This horror movie parody trailer adds a surprise factor at the end, which creates comic relief and makes the advertisement memorable. Finally, the fact of using Ramzy Bedia, an actor typically found in comedies and not in horror movies, brings the audience in because it is again something out of the ordinary.
The only downside of this advertisement is the fact that this advertisement was only really played in the movie theaters. This defeats the purpose of drawing in more people as the Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Français is only marketing the event to current moviegoers, who do not really need to be enticed to come to the movies as they have already decided to come on their own. Instead, it would have been beneficial to play this advertisement on the TV or to have it featured in one of the morning news channels.
Have you seen other campaigns similar to this one? Can you think of a time when a certain medium was exploited in order to create situational irony?