Wednesday, February 18, 2009

R-Rated Movie Promotion Shocked Fans

It certainly was a memorable moment for the NASCAR on Fox team. There was a caution period during the Daytona 500 and play-by-play announcer Mike Joy began to read what sounded like a script.

Suddenly, without warning to families, the NASCAR on Fox crew introduced a three-minute preview of the movie “Watchman.” The clip contained brutal violence, adult language and graphic action from an R-rated movie.

While this might have seemed like a good idea to the LA-based Fox TV executives, it was ultimately tasteless and ill-advised during a live NASCAR event. Especially, during the flagship race of the entire Fox TV package, the Daytona 500.

Click here for the Internet Movie Database parent's guide for the "Watchman" movie. This page provides an overview of the content of the movie and the reasons it was given an R-rating.

Click here to see almost exactly the same preview shown during the live NASCAR race. This was not a commercial, but a three minute added sales element inserted into what normally would be NASCAR-related content. Updates from pit road, race recaps and analysis were put on hold.

As we all know, times are tough and added revenue certainly has been a goal for the NASCAR TV partners as the adverstising market continues to shrink. This decision, however, might not have been a good one in retrospect. The time of day, the content of the live TV program and the rating of the movie being promoted just did not mesh.

Email to TDP was thematic in that this type of advertising might have a place later in the evening on TV, but not in the very same program where Fox knows youngsters and families are watching.

The irony of Fox using the animated "Digger" character to sell t-shirts to children and then offering an R-rated movie preview in the very same live NASCAR race was perhaps not lost on many viewers.

What was your opinion of the "Watchman" promotional video shown in the live race?

To add your comment, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly site, profanity and hateful speech will result in comments not being published. Please address the topic being discussed and forward any other questions or comments to anytime.

Thanks again and happy posting.


Unknown said...

I'm going for the trifecta tonight; we've been suffering from withdrawal....

To be honest, I wasn't paying much attention to the video since I don't plan to see the movie--just not my thing. But I totally agree that graphic previews do not belong on family shows. Some of the TNT show promos last summer were rather 'adult' as well. I don't have kids, but I sympathize with people who choose to at least *try* and monitor what their kids see.

Heck, even Christie Brinkley in the pool was kinda racy...

red said...

i was at our annual daytona party with about 15 other adults and some 7 or 8 kids, who were wandering in and out thru out the race and i was gobsmacked, to put it nicely.

at first, i was confused as to what, exactly, david hill had decided to promote during the race but once it clicked, i was pissed! we had not a few young kids coming in to catch a few laps of the race and one, a 5 year old friend, was sitting on our daughter's lap waiting to see his driver in the #42 car when it came on. her reaction as his babysitter was to put her hand over his eyes until she could take him to the kitchen "for a drink." the comments around the room ranged from "WTF?"-sort of mutters to "turn the channel!" and these are die-hard nascar fans. to a person, they were NOT happy. as one said "first digger now THIS?" i wonder if david hill sees the contradiction between his professed desire to use digger to make nascar more accessible to kids and the airing of the watchman extended promo during daytona.

as some comedy routine punchline put it: "rude, crude and socially unacceptable."

Sophia said...

I did not have kids in the room but pitied those who did but agree other commercials have been IN APPROPRIATE for years (E.D. and male enhancement stuff)

I am so NOT a fan of Hill. He is out of touch with what true NASCAR fans want and is all about the money.

sure it's a tough economy but he would do this if times were great. This movie preview seemed like 5 minutes or more..but only 3? I think we saw it twice here in Ohio.

Anonymous said...

I would like to make a comment.

If you are going to run a blog, you should make it your opinion. I think for the most part you do that, but sometimes you attempt to speak for other fans and it makes it sound like you are speaking for all fans.

You should just say that you were shocked by this promotion. If you aren't shocked by this promotion, then you are just guessing that others were shocked. Please just speak for yourself and not for everyone.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 9:33PM,

Thanks for the comment. I was trying to refer to the email that we received after the race about this clip.

This type of topic has been on-going with different types of content. We have talked about ED medicine, promos for TNT shows that included nudity and even the famous Christie Brinkley in the pool over-and-over again spot.

I understand what you are saying and will try to be mindful of my words. The format here is to offer one opinion on a topic and then turn it over to the fans for their thoughts.

Thanks again for the suggestion, I will certainly try to keep it in mind for the future.


Carrie said...

The average advert for any of Fox's normal lineup is as bad or worse than the Watchmen trailer and those aired all through the race.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mind the movie promotion, but I didn't pay attention to it long enough to realize that it was R-rated. They had a kids' movie preview during the Super Bowl on NBC, so I wasn't too surprised by this. It was basically a 3-minute, 1-ad commercial.

What I was a little upset about was the additional sponsor plugs that FOX has. I feel like they are making their coverage similar to ESPN coverage of everything not NASCAR: this sponsored by that, that sponsored by the other, etc. It was a little too commercial for me.

Anonymous said...

About halfway through the Watchmen trailer, I asked the people we were watching with if the race was still on. It seemed to last that long.

When cautions are used purely for marketing and advertising for more than the normal two minutes of ad time, count me out. And that's without even getting into the discussion about the content.

JD, the Anonymous blogger who says you should watch how you state your opinions is way off the mark. You keep doing what you are doing and let the majority of us who know that you stating your opinion figure it out for ourselves.

TexasRaceLady said...

While shocked at the video, it really didn't surprise me. Nothing any of the networks do surprise me any more.

Everything is geared toward the almighty dollar. Good taste gets tossed like last week's leftovers.

PS --- sure happy to see you, JD.

Anonymous said...

The Watchman was a subject of litigation between Fox and Warners, Fox won and Warners had to pay money, grant distribution royalties, and advertise it on Fox properties (Fox & Fox News etc)in settlement. David Hill and the NASCAR on Fox bunch have nothing to do with the ads. Blame parent Fox/News Corp.But in reality, the demos for the race square with the audience for the movie.And if you ask, kids will tell you they've watched trailers on the web for months.

Folks, we aren't in Kansas anymore.

Anonymous said...

Thank God you put your site back up. Glad to see and hear from you again. I'm actually surprised you didn't do an article on the "digger" crap from the pre-race, as well as 19 times during the race(thanks to CawsandJaws). All I could think about was you, John, and how you must have thought like I did: How many bricks could I throw through the t.v. to kill that mangy animated animal, and hope the shrapnel could reach David Hill....

Tracy D said...

I kept the sound off except when racing was on the screen, and listened to the radio. The Watchman images were disturbing, to put it mildly. I know the movie is derived from a Neil Gaiman graphic novel, but that doesn't mean it's child-appropriate: Far from it. On the other hand, watching men risk death and injury on the track could be seen by some as child-inappropriate as well. I wouldn't take a five year old to a race, either. Correction: I would to my local short track, where nothing more scary happens than exploding tempers.

Tracy D said...

I have the feeling CVT is, frighteningly, correct. Parents have no idea, most of the time, what their kids are watching on the Web, unless they're super vigilant and have all kinds of blockers in place for content. Children, sadly, don't remain children for long in our society.

Doesn't mean it was right to show the ad during the 500.

Anonymous said...

JD, great to have you back. I had no problem with the advertisement. I must point out that if the Daytona race had run the distance then viewers would have been delivered Family Guy. What is worse, ad for R Rated movie or letting kids watch Family Guy?

PS: It is so cool to have you back!!!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't have as much problem with that as all the "men's health" adds during all the race broadcasts. Did they say "erection" four times during the movie add? I'm tired of explaining to my kids why it's bad to have an erection for four hours. What do they think of NASCAR fans that these comercials run in every slot?

Anonymous said...

The preview on YouTube has apparently been removed.

Anonymous said...

I have wondered where the money from "Diggers" merchandise goes...? The Nascar Foundation...?

Newracefan said...

I was trying to catch up on all the blogs and posts and couldn't find mine so I knew where to start. Turns out my son used the laptop and I was logged in as someone else and I didn't notice so for the record welcome back JD I missed you and all my friends the race wasn't the same without you. Now on to the subject at hand, to be honest I didn't notice except to think my son might like the movie.

Sophia said...

Ryan Swain

Dittos to your post.

I have to sit thru some rubbish "Male enhancement cream" add for all SPEED shows..Trackside, SR, WTunnel...pretty disgusting.

I don't have kids but do make my cats leave the room when this stuff appears.:) 88 year old mom (a prim and proper lady) says next we will see people having sex on these commercials. YIKES! Hope she is wrong.

I had no idea Family Guy was such a filthy 'cartoon' until somebody twittered the topic of an episode.

Old-fashioned and proud of it Soph