Promotional images as marketing tools for movies have been around almost as long as films themselves. Some are incredibly memorable and help sell the themes, genre, narrative, actors and tone of a movie and can prove to be one of the most important selling tools for a motion picture. This was even more important back in the days before the internet where newspaper and magazine promotion was even more crucial than it is now and the whole concept of a movie needed to be encapsulated in one single image.
Some (and way too often these days) some promotional images aren’t memorable at all and add little to the bottom dollar of the box office.
And then there are some promotional images which are just completely strange in comparison to the actual film. This article will focus on the ten strangest promotional images in film history, marketing images that you can’t quite believe were used to promote these classic films….
1. Batman (1989)
Tim Burton’s dark and noirish take on Batman was a conscious departure from the more comedic 1960s TV series starring Adam West. Burton’s film created a more sinister atmosphere closer to the comics and was a movie that wasn’t really for kids. One wouldn’t know it from this promotional picture alone however.
The completely out of place image above of The Joker (Jack Nicholson) and Batman (Michael Keaton) lacks the dark visuals of Burton’s film and makes it look like a weird buddy movie with Batman and the Joker some kind of costumed version of The Odd Couple or Laurel and Hardy. Batman’s look towards The Joker isn’t menacing but just very disapproving… we could almost add the capture – “That crazy lovable clown, look at the fine mess you’ve got us into now”.
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