* This is guest post written by Adrian Rawlings
Whoever has been tasked with marketing Selena Gomez in Getaway certainly has their work cut out for them. For most of us familiar with her name, we don’t generally associate her with anything other than Disney Channel pop stardom. Much like Hilary Duff, Raven-Symone and Miley Cyrus – Gomez was just another face in a continuous cavalcade of child actors and, really, that’s all we see her as to this day. That’s just how her image has been sold to the consumer and, in a broad sense, it’s how she’s been typecast.
This is largely why people have been skeptical of the Getaway trailer, in which we see co-star, Selena Gomez, attempting to carjack Ethan Hawke’s ride. For those of you who might not be familiar, the premise of Getaway bears a striking resemblance to a failed Fox TV show that went by the name of Drive – a show where various drivers were being forced to race. In Getaway, Hawke is a racecar driver whose wife is kidnapped, forcing him to be the wheelman for unseen villains – one of whom is voiced by Jon Voight.
Needless to say, it’s a pretty dark premise, and it falls on the marketing team to sell us on that. They have to somehow convince us that this is still something to be taken seriously, despite Gomez having star billing.
So how do you do it? How do you go from this:
How do you reconcile what the public associates with Gomez and what is expected of her character in the film without losing the audience?
1. One method that seems particularly popular is to simply forego appealing to the generation that grew up with her. Most of you reading this might remember her hokey little show about teenage wizards and her eventual music career, but not a lot of younger people might. In that situation, marketing and media masters don’t have to do so much of a song and dance to sell her image in this film.
2. Another method is to simply omit or limit her from some of the marketing materials. Case in point: this trailer for Getaway. Did you see that? She was barely even featured, never directly referenced and there’s no context for her involvement – it’s all Hawke and Voight who, frankly, market themselves just fine.
Irony is also pretty mainstream. There’s no denying that some people are going to watch this film with every intention of seeing Gomez fail miserably. Regardless of intention, those are ticket sales all the same. No such thing as bad publicity, after all.
The point is that image is everything in the entertainment industry. It’s much easier for Gomez to be taken seriously within the context that public consciousness has placed her in – it’s a little harder to sell her doing anything else. Granted, it’s not impossible. Despite what you might say about his current career, Jim Carrey, of all people, managed to pull off some serious roles – Man on the Moon and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind were both films where he successfully convinced us he was more than just Ace Ventura. The problem with Gomez, and the problem marketing specialists will have to contend with, is not letting public perception of Gomez sour the overall experience. It probably doesn’t help that what little film work Gomez has under her belt involves things like Spring Breakers, but we shall see.
Adrian Rawlings is a TV and entertainment blogger. Look to him for the scoop on hit movies and TV shows, sports, tech reviews, how-to’s, and more.
Andrew’s favorite movie of all time is Avatar, his favorite song by Selena Gomez is probably A Year Without Rain and the most memorable product placement is the use of FedEx in the movie Cast Away.