Smile For The Camera!

One of the paid actors smiling to advertise the movie Smile.

Courtesy of @theheadknight on Twitter

One of the paid actors smiling to advertise the movie Smile.

Tatum Steward, Photo Journalist

A celebrity couple announcement, a catchy slogan, or a tear-jerking trailer are all common ways movie companies advertise their new releases. When people watch a movie trailer, their emotions are stirred in a positive or negative way. Within a matter of minutes of the trailer ending, they no longer feel stuck with anxiety, worry, sadness, or fear. Even the most unsettling trailers don’t typically leave people feeling completely immersed in the emotions of an upcoming movie. However, the movie Smile takes a whole new approach to advertising in the movie industry, which will affect viewers both now and in the future.

I think that Smile is using modern technology and society to their advantage. I think it would benefit other films to use Smile’s tactics to promote themselves in new and creative ways.”

— Julian Lisboa (12)

Recently, people have noticed random people sitting in view of the camera during sporting events, such as being at home plate of Major League Baseball games, with eerie smiles on their faces. These paid actors have an evil yet bored look in their eyes, along with a big creepy smile. They usually have a shirt with the word “SMILE” on them, but that is not accurate 100% of the time. Sometimes, these creepy smilers unexpectedly stand up during the games, most likely to show off their “SMILE” shirts. 

So what exactly is the point of this new advertising tactic? The sight of a real-life person in real-time situations taps into our emotions, leaving us feeling unsettled and strange. Julian Lisboa (12) claims this tactic seeks “to blur the lines between fiction and reality.” Whether one has seen any of the Smile trailers or not, this new strategy intrigues people and creates a buzz around the title of the movie. Looking up questions, taking and posting videos, and simply being a topic of conversation all help to spread interest in the film. This technique helps movie creators reach a wider variety of audiences without paying the expenses of traditional television ads. Some sports fans may never stray from channels such as FoxSports, ESPN, or NFL Network, so they may never have the opportunity to see a Smile ad. 

These creative tactics change the movie industry in an unfathomable way. The results may take years to reveal themselves; however, we will likely see more and more tactics similar to Smile advertising. Julian Lisboa (12) adds, “I think that Smile is using modern technology and society to their advantage. I think it would benefit other films to use Smile’s tactics to promote themselves in new and creative ways.” People far and wide can be sure to expect a variety of new immersive and interactive advertisement strategies in the future. Whether people like it or not, we have entered a new era in the film industry. Smile has undoubtedly revolutionized the advertising world.