Like many people, I am absurdly excited over the Sex and the City movie. I find the media blitz surrounding it totally and utterly justified. But there is one little item bobbing about in all this froth and fun that is sort of throwing me off a teeny bit. It's just that...well...this past week or so I have been forced to confront a question: Is their studio mainly selling a movie, or mainly just selling stuff from the movie? Because it really seems that every six seconds I am seeing "Sex and the City"-themed advertisements for Vitamin Water and luxury vehicles and who knows what else; items that supposedly have some sort of nebulous connection to the film. And the movie ads themselves are only running, like, once every thirty seconds or so. I find this an odd ratio.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not about to climb onto a No Logo high horse over here... I made a tidy living off of Hermes' brilliant Birkin-marketing scheme, and I have little room to preach about the pros and cons of branding. In fact, it could be that I am simply angry about hearing the SATC theme music from the other room, running in excitedly to see the trailer, and being confronted with an onscreen bottle of pseudo-Gatorade for all my trouble. But, my personal issues aside, the question itself is valid -- is the product cart running over the cinematic horse?
And yes, I do realize this is not a new media phenomenon. We all know fashion magazines are largely run by their advertisers. Television shows regularly showcase all sorts of sponsored product. And it certainly isn't like movies haven't had obscenely obvious brand tie-in before. McDonald's and Disney are pretty tight, for shizzy. But somehow this movie's selling strategy has struck me as even more heavy-handed than average. And, honestly, for such a chic and stylish series, shouldn't all this product placement be a little more....discreet? Or am I hopelessly behind the times? Is it even possible to entertain the notion of a studio movie made without overt corporate sponsorship these days? Should I just accept that advertisement and art are only going to become ever more entwined?
The internet also came to mind. I mean, with all the talk of new media, etc, is it possible that the internet/independent blogger are the last bastion of unsullied media -- because they don't need as many advertisement dollars to stay afloat? Or will the Vogue and Elle and Cosmopolitan online sites, which are currently a bit more casual about their picks and pans and product opinions than their paper produced namesakes, become increasingly structured and advertisement laden, creating the old regime on screens instead of pages? Sure seems likely. Then where will we turn for non-sellout opinions? Hmm. Huffington Post? I sure hope so.
Philosophizing aside, I can't wait to see the movie. But if they only have Vitamin Water at the concession stand, I'm outta there.