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Marketing mission impossible

Marketing mission impossible

You can promote it all you want, Cruise and Diaz, but if the product’s no good, people won’t buy. What’s more, they’ll hate you for trying.


July 25, 2010 4:20 by

No, the truth is, the reason ticket sales were disappointing, and that the epic marketing effort was needed, was that the film isn’t particularly good. It’s not the worst film ever, by any means, but it’s a long way from being the best, too. gives it 54 percent on the Tomatometer. Some of the comments from critics include “The spy-caper story is as forgettable as they come and the jokes are pretty forced.” “If Diaz and Cruise had shared some chemistry on screen I may have forgiven all of its sins. Alas, they don’t.” “Knight and Day ends up chasing itself around in circles, going nowhere, doing nothing, hoping to coast on charm and goodwill.”

So, stuck with a dubious product which cost a ton to develop, the studio put the marketing wheels went into action, and they seemed to have salvaged something from the wreckage. But was it the right strategy? As the credits roll, how will the paying public feel about having shelled out hard earned cash on a disappointing product?

As one article we read put it, there’s only one thing worse than bad advertising, and that’s good advertising for a bad product. It erodes trust, seeds doubt, and can even provoke anger, and these are not the goals of any marketing campaign. It’ll make it all the harder to reach people the next time.

In fact, by pulling out all the stops in promoting the movie, some might argue they actually made its performance worse. People nowadays are savvy, and when we see a product so heavily advertised with such an apparent lack of public endorsement, our suspicions are automatically raised. Suspicion leads to doubt, and doubt prevents purchase.

Note to all businesses: make a good enough product in the first place, and you might not need all the expensive marketing.

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