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About a month ago when I first started seeing the poster (above) advertising the brand-new Sylvester Stallone Rambo movie, that opens in theaters today, my eyes were just drawn to its strong imagery.
I immediately thought to myself, Wow, what a really great poster, admiring its simple yet powerful, black-on-white stencil silhouette image of Rambo.
No clutter like most movie posters, just that burning image of our hero Rambo -- underneath the actor's last name spelled out in attention-grabbing bold red capital letters. Despite its basic retro simplicity, it was instantly memorable and for some reason seemed so subliminally familiar.
But how? Why? Well, about a week ago I think I figured it out when I read an interview with Tim Palen from the marketing department at Lions Gate (fhe company banking on the film being a big hit). He stated as a matter-of-fact that the poster, which had been very shrewdly designed for the marketplace, was a carefully structured combo of familiar icons.
"We called it Che Guevara crossed with Jesus Christ by way of Andy Warhol,” he told the New York Times, adding about the Rambo character, that, “In a way, he’s all of those.”
And who doesn't like at least one of those three cultural icons? Scary shrewd marketing that should succeed in its goal of appealing to a very wide demographic. And for proof of its effectiveness? If by the end of this weekend Rambo is the number one movie in box office receipts. And I bet it will be.