Marketing to the Heart

Signs of Valentine’s Day are everywhere: Barefoot-sized stuffed animals, melodic greeting cards and overpriced chocolates and roses.

While you may be seeing red, I spied something else the other day inside our area Walmart store.

I saw it in the movie section. I don’t know if anything else would catch this, but it really stuck out to me the more I looked.

From these three DVD covers, I learned ‘romantic’ movie marketing consists of close embraces and kissing.

“Of course it does” you may be thinking. But let’s say you know nothing about the characters or plotlines involved and only had the DVD covers to decipher what the movie was about – what would you think?

The actual picture was light in color, sometimes fuzzy and kind of blurry.

Also, notice the juxtaposition of the man and then woman cupping their lover’s face – and the height of the person. Despite what the film could really be about, those two pictures tell me who’s in charge – or who may be doing the ‘chasing.’

Blurry backgrounds also convey a sense of a fairy tale-like plot. Yes, Ghost is all black, but isn’t it also about death – a dark subject??

The other two shots are outside – one in daylight and one in rain. Yet, both still look romantic and soft to the eye.

Then I turned around and found several horror films. Those DVD covers were dark in color, had varying red hues, sharp lines and close ups of scarred – and scared -faces. Perfectly tailored for Halloween and the complete opposite of romantic.

Typography also plays a huge part in marketing. Star Wars looks space-like, Seven is edgy and jagged, Air Force One looks official, Gone With the Wind appears somewhat classical…get my point?

These are all subtle tricks to (obviously) get you to buy a DVD. How many times have you looked at movies and decided on one you’ve never seen before ‘because it looks good.’

The next time you pick up a DVD look closely at its cover. Pay attention to colors, lines and background. What is the image trying to convey? ‘Cause it’s all about marketing.


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