So, I'm sitting here watching the Sunday Night Football game, and a commercial just came on for Subway, which has a tie-in with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Over clips for the film and Katniss looking tough and, apparently, bold, we hear the voice-over announcer telling us in as powerful and bold tone as possible --
"Bold can be standing up for what you believe in.
"Bold can be testing your limits and defying ALL odds.
(And here we cut from pictures of the bold Jennifer Lawrence to pictures of tasty subs. The narrator continues in his stentorian tones --)
"...Bold can be found at Subway.
"Fiery footlongs, a revolution in bold taste! Sizzling taste like the Sriracha Chicken Melt. Made with a selected blend of sriracha chili peppers...for our boldest flavor yet.
"Get yours and get to the theater on November 22nd for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Subway. Be Bold. Eat Fresh."
Okay, it was all very bold, all very imposing, all very imperious. But one thing stood out to as missing.
As I watched the commercial, it was a bit difficult not to look at this deep, rich intonation trying ti impress us how just like this mega-succesful movie the product is, and all I could think is, hey, y'know, this is just a sandwich. But I get it, it's an ad, and they want to make the point, so, fine, fair enough. The sandwich is bold. And fiery. And it's bold, really bold. But something really was missing.
And when the movie's logo comes on at the end, it should have been clear to the company and ad agency what it was.
The movie is called, The Hunger Games.
Sandwiches, in the end, really have nothing to do with being bold. But eating them has everything to do with...well, hunger. They couldn't figure out a way to work in something like, oh -- "Curb your hunger"??
Hey, it's loopy having a sandwich company doing a tie-in with a movie whose story centers around a dystopian future where there's great poverty and hunger, and people compete in the Big Games simply to survive. But at least if you're going to leap past that...why not make a connection between your product and the movie that actually exists...???
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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