Posters play against type

Ad campaigns try new twists

Clutter is the constant complaint of studio marketers trying to sell summer tentpoles. And heading into the ultra-competitive May corridor, more studios seem willing to break the conventions covering movie one-sheets, including the legibility of type.

For “Poseidon,” Warner Bros. deliberately printed the movie title upside down, to reflect the fact that the titular ship is rolled over by a wave.

For “X-Men: The Last Stand,” 20th Century Fox has teased the pic with billboards that look like a mutant superhero fashion spread, and skipped showing the title at all.

Following its campaign for the second “Mission Impossible,” Paramount decided not to spell out “Mission: Impossible 3” on one-sheets and billboards and go with an “M:I:III” logo treatment instead.

“We’re always trying to create materials that stand out when you get into as competitive a corridor as we are in now,” says Warners marketing prexy Dawn Taubin.

TV spots for “Poseidon” are centered on an F/X shot of the wave hitting the boat but for the “Poseidon” posters, she says, “The concept of the movie is hard to convey in print. We just felt an upside-down ship said it all”

“You’re getting a glance at best,” Par marketing head Gerry Rich says of the “MI3” campaign. “You think of it terms of showmanship.

“Don’t think we didn’t look at it spelled out — we did. But this just felt better.”