Off The Marketing -- Promoting GROWN UPS 2
Adam Sandler has offered his first ever sequel, and marketing it has been dicey. Between a depressed department store chain and an "official" chili, there are plenty of infantile GROWN UPS 2 promotions.
Aiming At The Lowest Common Demographic
This weekend finds the public being foisted Adam Sandler’s execrable GROWN UPS 2. Normally I am loathe condemning a film that I have not yet seen, but I get the sense that I am on rather firm ground with this blind assessment. It may be due to the simple fact that we are discussing an unneeded sequel. It may be that the original film was a soulless exercise which featured scenes of Kevin James aping with a bucket from KFC over his head.
Another possibility is this particular film chooses to hang a heavy dose of its mirth upon the visual of a deer pissing all over Adam Sandler in bed – an occurrence of comedic pride for the production based on this being chosen for display in the trailers.
As to be expected with any summer release there has been the usual promotional onslaught; carpet-bombing commercials across the networks, numerous guest appearances on talk-shows and the like. But there also were some outlying targets for ticket buyers. Various members of the cast have been dispatched to ancillary outlets. Chris Rock was a guest on The Disney Channel program Ant Farm, where co-star China Anne McClain has a regular role.
James, Sandler, and Shaquille O’Neal appeared at the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR event to give the starting command, and co-star Nicks Swardson was a “special” guest at a San Diego Padres game, mugging with their mascot, The Friar.
Now we could contemplate what David Spade did to piss off Master Sandler. While many cast members were getting chummy with athletes in front of television cameras Spade was hanging out with cashiers and shopping cart wranglers. His lesser bit of star visitation came on July, 2nd, when David was announced as making a grand appearance – at the K-Mart store on 3rd and Fairfax, in Los Angeles. This underwhelming bit of promotional small-ese is a result of the foundering retailer serving as a promotional partner, even making a bit of a placement cameo in the film.
One of the more baffling pre-release PR attempts was a lurching effort. The film’s official Twitter feed made this curious pronouncement back in April:
Naturally we would come to expect that an Adam Sandler comedy that was an offense to human nature would be environmentally conscious. But there is much more to this detail. The fact was that filming took place in Northern Massachusetts and rather than striving to broaden the botanical footprint in the area the production was constructing an ersatz ecosystem for photogenic purposes. In unnatural practice a soundstage had been constructed in a marshland, with those trees planted and positioned for blocking purposes. Fittingly this resulted in reports that skunks had invaded the artificial environment, poaching food from the catering area. The production then departed from the benevolent Earth Day concept by having the skunks relocated from the set.
In a final bit of marketing that may create a bit of synergy with anally expressive fumes, the cast made an appearance on the Food Network hit show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Part of their visit with host Guy Fieri resulted in his creation of Guy’s “Grown Ups Chili”, a product that actually mirrors the creation of the film itself. Take a wide array of stale ingredients and toss them together with no skill or finesse and then dole out the contents in heaping wads of unsavory servings.
However I think there was a missed opportunity in real synergy here. As the principal actors were in appearance with Fieri there was a notable absence. On a program often referred to as “DDD”, co-star Salma Hayek would have been a perfect fit.
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