Twentieth Century Fox recently kicked off its marketing campaign for “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” and judging from the first TV spots to emerge, you might think Jon Hamm is the star of the film, not Keanu Reeves.
Spots for the sci-fi remake, bowing Dec. 12, feature plenty of screentime for the Emmy-nommed “Mad Men” thesp but barely a glimpse of Reeves, the film’s star. Hamm is, in fact, the pic’s fourth lead.
Fox, which was reluctant to discuss a campaign that is in its infancy, says the debut spots are exceptions to the overall ad plan.
“The spot (that aired during an episode of ‘Mad Men’) was targeted to, specifically, fans of Jon Hamm,” a Fox marketing exec says. “This single TV spot is not indicative of the overall campaign, which is much, much wider in scope and will unfold in the weeks to come.”
Still, it’s nothing new for studios to play up an ascending star. Back in 1985, when “Desperately Seeking Susan” hit the bigscreen, you would never have known from the promo campaign that Madonna enjoyed only a small role.
“Marketing is little bit like the stock market: commodities rise and fall,” says a marketing head of a rival studio. “Jon Hamm is clearly on the rise. He’s the new thing. … When your market a movie, you use whatever tools you have at your disposal.”