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Deceiving Your Audience Isn’t the Best Idea

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Give the people what they want. Don’t advertise an action-packed blockbuster if it’s actually a rom-com–everybody will end up disappointed. (This can also be seen as a metaphor for relationships.)

It’s amazing that some of these are actually the real posters for these movies. (Others are more “creative interpretations.”) They’re so completely off-target, I’m astonished those films ever made it big.

1.) Sex and the City:

First off: Carrie Bradshaw, (Sarah Jessica Parker) isn’t that busty. Unless it’s an attempt of a portrayal of her somewhat…uninhibited costar Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), the creators of this posters got it all wrong. Yes, the title of the show-made-film is Sex and the City, but it’s about cultivating friendships and searching for everlasting love in an unforgiving city. Sex is just window dressing.

If the artists’ goal was to pull hormone-riddled teenage boys into the theater, well then… touche. You guys did a great job. But if you were trying to reach the more expected thirty-something woman, you may have lost her forever.

Something like this is more appropriate for this kind of film. It’s simple, depicts all the important characters and doesn’t give the audience a skewed idea of what they’ll see.

 2.) Ice Age 3:

Maybe the artists of this poster missed the memo that this is a film in the Ice Age series. Mechanical things weren’t invented….and neither were sunglasses. If at some point Scrat had been transported into the future and transformed into an uber-cool robot during his cat-and-mouse game with his acorn, this poster might have been fitting. Unfortunately for viewers in South Korea who were expecting a gadget-filled tale, this film is actually about dinosaurs. Who woulda thought?

3.) The Day the Earth Stood Still: 

This one-sheet for The Day the Earth Stood Still is known as one of the most blatantly deceptive in film history. Most expected a giant armored alien to use his laser powers to blast the human race off earth while keeping a blonde bombshell captive. Instead, an extraterrestrial teaches humans how to treat Mother Nature with respect. Hmmm…this whole poster is whack.

The poster for the 2008 remake depicts a more accurate story.

4.) Slumdog Millionaire:

Confetti? Happy-looking lovers? Looks like a surprise birthday party, rather than a story about how a “slumdog” from Mumbai won a million dollars.

Spoiler alert: Jamal (the boy) hardly smiles, doesn’t catch up with that girl until the end, and is basically tortured the entire movie. Granted everything turns out peachy-keen in the end, but his struggle to get there isn’t as casual and fun-filled as the poster illustrates. They should have stuck with a more realistic approach like this.

Like misleading people? Enjoy other blatantly deceptive one-sheets here.

Like continuing to make films? Don’t mislead your audience. They’ll show up with pitchforks at your door demanding refunds, and chances are that’ll be your last film. Producers never forget.

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