Illustrated movie & game posters

Posted: November 9, 2010 by E-mann in PIECE OF MIND

Have you ever noticed how illustrated movie posters and game covers have all but vanished? Back in the day most movies and games had eye catching illustrations. Nowadays it is very rare to find painted or drawn covers.  Ever wonder why?

In the marketing community there is a belief that illustrated covers hurt the sales of movies and games. According to  their market research, people like you and I don’t react well to illustrated advertisement. They believe that we think if we see an illustrated movie poster and or game cover that we will think it looks too much like art and not enough like what’s inside the packaging or in the movie.

The thing about marketing people (and I speak from personal experience) is that most of them do not do any real research. They look at the obvious and don’t do in depth research. They are not experts at what they do, though they would like you to believe that they are. They just look at the top grossing films and games and make their decisions based of them. “Ok, if they did this then we will too because that movie/game sold well”. That’s the same reasoning that has lead to movies and games that all feel the same.

However these “experts” aren’t exactly correct that illustrated covers do not sell a product. Take Rockstar Games for example. Nearly all of their top selling games have illustrated covers. They sell millions despite the illustrated covers. Or what about the Star Wars films and even Indiana Jones series? These are two of the biggest franchises in history and all of them had painted movie posters when they originally opened. Illustrated movie posters and game covers do not hurt sales. Lack of, or bad marketing does.

Marketing people should just stick to trying to get the word out about a film or game so that people know it’s coming. They should become familiar with the product themselves or try to hire someone who has an intimate understanding of the product. They should promote what’s there. Cover and all.


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