They were five total strangers, with nothing in common, except the school they went to. A heartthrob, a princess, a jock, a rebel and a geek. Before the year was over, they broke the rules. Bared their souls. And changed in ways they never dreamed possible. If that sounds like Breakfast Club, well you're close. A new poster has debuted for American Teen, courtesy of Film School Rejects, and its a blatant rip off of The Breakfast Club's poster - right down to that catchphrase. Well, of course that's what Paramount Vantage is going for, but I'm not satisfied. For some reason this doesn't strike me as the right way to market this film, but I may be wrong. Either way, now that I've got your interest, you still need to check it out.
The phrase is accurate, so they're not skewing the reality of what you'll find in the documentary, but I feel like trying to connect with The Breakfast Club isn't the best way to attract the attention of the right audiences. American Teen is this year's greatest documentary about the lives of four high schoolers in their senior year. We've praised it countless times - both in my review and Ken's review. Paramount Vantage bought it at Sundance for around $1 million and this seems to be the beginning of their marketing push for its July 25th release date.
For comparison purposes, the photo below is a side-by-side example of the original Breakfast Club poster and the new American Teen poster.
The big issue I have with this marketing "idea" is that The Breakfast Club isn't as universally loved as one might initially think. First off, you had to have been "of that generation" when it came out in 1985 to really appreciate it. Secondly, none of today's generations are as familiar with it, and even if they are, they probably don't understand the pop culture significance. Third, not everyone loves Breakfast Club, like myself, and they might be turned off by this, as I am.
I'm not 100% sure what a better campaign might involve, but I know they better not stick with this and only this. In fact, I prefer the poster that was shown at ShoWest a LOT more.
That one is a lot more "hip" and graphically inclined, which is what I think is necessary in this day and age to draw the attention of the younger generations. American Teen has the ability to hit big, maybe not with high schoolers similar to the ones shown in this, but definitely with college-aged demographics and older. I think a more energetic, youthful, and well-designed marketing campaign would go a lot farther than going back in time and attempting to connect with a 1985 high school movie. Come on Paramount Vantage, you can do better than that!
Don't forget - American Teen will arrive in theaters starting on July 25th and you do NOT want to miss it. Not a single person has ever said a bad thing about it and, in fact, everyone who sees it ends up loving it as much as we do. I'd also love to hear your feedback on this marketing campaign and poster. Am I wrong about The Breakfast Club comparisons or is there truly a better way to market this movie?