Language of Advertising - Selling Foreign Language Film to American Audiences

Topics: Independent film, Cannes Film Festival, Miramax films Pages: 11 (4384 words) Published: April 1, 2013
Michaela Píchová
Mgr. Jana Pelclová, Ph.D.
AJ 22073 Language of Advertising
28 August 2012
The wide use of advertising has created a special style of English – the advertising English. Its unique features and simple language separate it from other types of language. The advertising English must be compact, vivid, visual, emotional and most of all attractive. Because the function of advertising is to provide information, attract consumer and promise quality, the advertisers must pay special attention to it. In my essay I would like to take a closer look at advertising films. They have become such a huge part of our lives that I believe it is worth looking at the different strategies the companies use to attract potential viewers. Trailers or “advertisements for films” as they are also known have the difficult task to in no more than 2 minutes introduce the movie but not to spoil the story. The first ever trailer has been shown in a U.S. film theatre in 1913. Ever since then they have come a long way. Now they have become the main event. Today’s news savvy audience awaits even a short one-minute teaser trailer almost as excitedly as the whole film. The marketing specialists try to keep the momentum surrounding a specific motion picture release going for as long as possible. Many trailers are even being tailored for a specific market. The true pioneers of this technique were the Weinstein brothers. With their distribution company called Miramax they brought many foreign-language films to the United States and advertised them with trailers made for the American audience. Miramax

Miramax is one of the top independent motion picture studios. It was founded in 1979 by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein. The library of Miramax comprises of more than 700 films. The studio has reached its potential in the 90s and has been mostly associated with the distribution of the foreign language films. The Weinstein brothers have realised the huge potential of the foreign language film market. Until then it represented rather distinct market sector supplied only by specialized distributors. Foreign language films have always occupied a rather small share of the North American box office but that was all changed by Miramax and its modern approach to film advertising. In my paper I would like to take a look at how Miramax went beyond influencing Hollywood business practices and motion picture aesthetics to shape in popular and critical discourses about cinema during the 1990s and especially to look at two successful imports of European movies and culture into the US. Their procedure involved acquiring films from international filmmakers and rework them or rather fit the marketing of such films to suit the sensibilities of the North American market. Among the company’s breakthrough distributions were: Sex, love and videotapes (1989), My left foot (1989) and The crying game (1992). Production successes include such films as Pulp Fiction (1994) or Shakespeare in love (1998).The Weinstein brothers have always maintained that their marketing plan was as crucial as their cash advance. Although Miramax established itself as a producer of successful films it was the distribution of foreign-language films that they were able to master almost to perfection. Marketing foreign-language film

In order to generate buzz surrounding their specialty films, Miramax became skilled in cultivating controversy in order to generate publicity. “Exploitation” was just one of the techniques they used. In the specialty market, success cannot be measured only by financial status. Critical recognition has to be taken into account as well because it is enormously important. The “economy of prestige” plays equally as important part as the box office revenues. As described by James F. English in his book Awards can assume the role of a currency within these markets. They represent value. Among the two most important award ceremonies are the Golden Globes...
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