Well, I guess the streak of me liking the posters for Tyler Perry’s movies had to end at some point.
This new poster for Meet the Browns takes the very subtle first teaser poster and adds a bunch of things. A big title treatment. Tyler Perry (I’m guessing) in a fat suit. And for good measure a photo of Madea, so people can be absolutely sure that this movie includes that famous character. The humor is obvious and in your face. The subtly is completely gone.
I guess the marketing team thought they were risking too much with the sparse first poster and felt they would do better with something more obviously jokey. I can understand that. But they have had so much success by using much smarter posters for the Tyler Perry movies in the past that I’m forced to wonder why they thought that now was the time to stop that approach. I mean, look at this poster for the previous Madea movie, Madea’s Family Reunion.
This was not the best poster for that film, by far. However, It does have a clean and pleasant design, and it still manages to pack a strong emotional punch AND to make it clear that this is a Madea movie, with all the kind of humor that that entails. And that, I think, has been a key to the appeal of Tyler Perry: the combination of a broad humor with a strong and frank emotional appeal.
Now, I’m very much not the audience for the Perry’s movies, so perhaps my distaste at this poster means nothing. Perhaps the people who are actually like to come out for this movie as soon as it opens will love it. But I do think that it is a clear step in a different direction when that seems unnecessary, and I think it’s a bigger risk than simply sticking with the winning formula of previous posters. Not a big risk because this is a movie that will have a big audience no matter what, but still a risk.
Kamikaze Kamel has a post on his blog about the poster campaigns for the Madea films that basically shows that they always start off well with very beautiful and smart posters, but always end with much more uninteresting choices. Now, I still think that the last poster for Madea’s Family Reunion is miles better than this second one for Meet the Browns, but he is right that it is a lot worst than the teaser posters. So I’m revising my belief that there has been a change in the marketing strategy. Perhaps it’s the same strategy they have been using all along, just very poorly executed in this case.