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Feature
Ask The Expert: Which In-Movie Ad Would Make It In The Real World?
A top creative analyses the best (and worst) of in-movie marketing

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OFF-WORLD LIVING

Movie: Blade Runner (1982)

If you have any kind of aversion to Tannoy announcements, or you've just mislaid your brolly, Los Angeles might be worth avoiding in five years' time. Advertising comes at you from all angles in Blade Runner's perma-drizzly nightscape. It even has a hover-billboard promising "a golden land of opportunity and adventure" to willing wayfarers – modelmaker Jason Eaton created a stunning replica – but the overall effect is a sensory overload that's writ large on Deckard's (Harrison Ford) world-weary face.


THE
EXPERT'S
VIEW
"A lot of these things will happen, because there's always going to be people finding bigger and louder ways to shout. Ridley Scott has these huge electronic billboards in Blade Runner, the size of a skyscraper wall, and clients are always going to want big announcement boards. I'm sure Michael Bay looked into projecting the Transformers 3 onto the moon, because the question is 'How big can we get?'. But Tannoy announcements aren't an effective form of advertising: it's oppressive. Good advertising isn't untargeted noise, it's engaging and focused communication. But this works so well in the film to give this sense that Big Brother is watching you. That the Tannoy comes from a corporation rather than a government makes you question whether, in Blade Runner's world, corporations are the new government."

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Have Your Say
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Your Comments

1
I've had the "Pizza Guy" jingle that Billy Crystal wrote in City Slickers stuck in my head for decades now... for all that it nearly got him fired, it was awesomely effective! More

Posted by kevtiggersmith on Friday April 11, 2014, 22:58

2
I'd buy that for a dollar. More

Posted by Himself on Thursday April 10, 2014, 23:51

3 What, no "Total Recall"?
"For the memory of a lifetime, Rekall, Rekall, Rekall..." More

Posted by Pssyche on Monday April 7, 2014, 07:33

4
You forgot Fruity Oaty Bars! :-) More

Posted by opera_jedi on Thursday April 3, 2014, 14:02

5
Or The Mattress Man... More

Posted by rjgraham on Friday March 28, 2014, 21:52

6
I was hoping to see 'Maury's Wigs' from Goodfellas. More

Posted by DancingClown on Friday March 28, 2014, 16:08


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