MovieMask: The Evil

Ahhhh, and then the Evil. With a little forethought and enlightened cynicism, you might've figured it out before I told you. If this is not MovieMask's reason to exist, then it is certainly in the business plan for how they expect to stay in business.


Oh but they're not so crass as to actually use the A-word; no, they call it "Interactive Play". This here is the life preserver of the product for their business side--this is what will keep them in the good graces of the studios whose movies they're stomping on. I can just imagine the phrases "untapped market" and "new revenue channel" being used in boardrooms in L.A.

I don't...I can't...well, I can't think of any way to emphasize the Evil any more than showing it to you. Shot of Buzz Lightyear; Buzz Lightyear blinks green; cursor clicks on Buzz; little menu opens; next, we're on ready to buy the Toy Story 2 Ultra Talking Buzz Lightyear doll.





I simply...oh, just every time I see that, I need a moment to process the Evil. While I'm collecting myself, here's the quote from their site:

Interactive play options allow for a vast array of information about specific items in a movie. As you are watching your movie, you will be prompted when an interactive option is available via a visual or auditory prompt. You can then pause the movie and select the item you want to learn more about or purchase.
<tieboy> hm, wonder if they get money from the links they provide
<spinn> HM
<tieboy> "Why is it when I click the link to find out more about Panzer tanks does the site for Larry King live keep coming up?"
<tieboy> And why do the tanks keep shooting NEW TACO BELL GORDITAS

<tieboy> "For example, if you are watching Mission Impossible 2 and you want to see how much the Audi TT costs, you can click on the car and pull up the webpage for that car."
<tieboy> there is NO OTHER WAY to find this out
<spinn> and no more convenient way
<tieboy> if they let you see things like how much Tom Cruise's dental work costs, that'd be something
<spinn> clearly not for use for watching with friends
<spinn> "look, we'll get back to your chase scene as soon as I find out what kind of fuel efficiency they're getting."


Yup, the whole "preserve the story" argument suddenly goes right out the window, doesn't it. I'm watching Mission Impossible and his car goes green and blinky and this isn't going to distract me at all. I can't even imagine why I'd want to think about additional information on the car he's driving. But then, I haven't seen the movie, so I guess I'm not sure...should I be bored enough at that point? "Car chase, car chase, car chase...gee, wish I had a way I could click on his car and go to the Audi web site for more information. Hey! Thanks, MovieMask!"

I mean, sure, blockbusters are created with advertisers in mind: writers are encouraged to put product placements in the script, and directors are encouraged to take nice, long, loving shots of them. But, man, they're putting big green lines around them and giving us a Buy Now button. They're not even pretending anymore.

They drop in a bit about the educational aspects of Interactive Play, in that you'll be able to stop Saving Private Ryan and get details about WWII for example, but they're not fooling me. I'm sure the educational parts would still be sponsored by Kellogg's or GE or whathaveyou.

<spinn> there's more evil there too, you know. people have to go through these movies frame by frame to mask them, which means lots of money to pay them. so then masks could be sponsored
<spinn> so a woman taks off her shirt, but instead of boobs, there's a pair of Folger's Crystals cans
<spinn> or, you can watch this movie, but every fifth second an X-10 window pops up

<tieboy> also, their Educational feature
<tieboy> want to know more about "Big Daddy"? I thought so!
<spinn> like yeah, I'm watching 12 Monkeys and I'm really going to want to know more about United Airlines
<tieboy> During the laser-sword scene in Princess Bride, you can learn lots more about how people used to duel with laser-swords in medieval times
<tieboy> Learn more about Andre the Giant's fatal gland condition!


On the product angle, though, they have one bit in the demo that greatly confused us and had us talking about it for days. Two kids at a table, product shot of a can of Pepsi dead center. Then, a sparkly effect washes over the can, and now it's a can of Wild Cherry Pepsi.

After much discussion, we finally came to a few conclusions. One, that part was more directed to advertisers rather than the advertisees (you and me), because there couldn't be any reason why we'd be directly interested that they could change a Pepsi into a slightly different Pepsi. Two, since it's directed to the advertisers, the point is probably that you can update your product placement. If your logo changes or you're pushing Xtreme Cranapple Banana Pepsi this month, we can change it for you, no problem. And since Trilogy has recently decided to make MovieMask a yearly service (rather than a one-time software purchase), they can change that any time someone throws money at them.

<tieboy> wait, what's with the pepsi can?
<spinn> tie: I have no idea but that scares me too
<tieboy> it changes from pepsi to wild cherry pepsi
<tieboy> wha wha wha wha wha
<tieboy> wha
<tieboy> whaa
<spinn> like maybe if you decide you'd rather be sublimially in the mood for cherry pepsi instead of regular pepsi
<tieboy> also: WHA WHA HUH
<tieboy> and
<tieboy> wha
<Mia_D> wild cherry? That might be a little too frightening for the children.
<spinn> but the pepsi can
<spinn> da hell is with the pepsi can
<spinn> oh, then again, this company's in utah. maybe there's some law against drinks in blue cans there that we don't know about


Or, maybe the original can wasn't there at all either, and they're just showing off you can insert whatever ads you want into my movie, which only enhances the Evil. Though I'm still surprised they took the risk of putting that in. It just makes me think: wow, imagine if they replaced that Pepsi with a can of Coke.

<tieboy> in the patriot scene, why not put a pepsi can over the axe?
<tieboy> or in the hand
<Machival> or over the whole scene?
<spinn> or have the axe clickable so I can go to amazon and order Head-Cleaving Axe


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