Tuesday, October 03, 2006

First Day Hay Naku

As someone who is in advertising and who used to work for a network, I decided to watch the movie First Day High more out of curiosity than anything. After all, I’m not a big fan of any of the cast members (although I thought Geoff Eigenmann was the cutest guy on TV during pre-Milby days). I was curious to find out if a product (Rexona) was able to successfully translate their ad campaign into a unique below-the-line merchandising material, and to see if the final material helped enhance the brand image. Certainly this isn’t the first time that a product used a movie as an advertising tool—Close-Up toothpaste has done it before also with ABS-CBN Films/Star Cinema. But Rexona’s “First Day High” campaign has been one of the most thorough and seamless in its execution, and is a great template for future full campaigns.

Having said that, let’s turn to the latest merchandising material in this campaign. Did this grand effort work? To answer that, we must bear in mind that the final measure is not an increase in deodorant sales, but more on enhancing the image of the product. Ultimately the question can only be answered one way: if the movie works, then the whole effort works. Good movie equals good image that will halo on the product.

Is the movie any good? Grade: F.

The script is shoddy. The direction is sophomoric. The movie thinks it’s being hip and witty but it’s not. The acting ranges from amateurish to downright awkward. Wait, I’m being kind; the acting can be painful to watch.

Kim Chiu actually pulled off a difficult trick of making a cliché character seemed more interesting than as written. Maja Salvador reminded me of a young Jolina Magdangal; if she can tone down her effort-ful acting, she can be a very effective comedienne. At least Jason Abalos didn’t try too hard in essaying his character, sparing the viewers from an affected performance.

Which leaves us with two of the better-looking boys in the cast. Here we see the cinematic equivalent of math’s inverses: the better the looks, the worse the acting. Geoff gets by with posing; meanwhile the range of his facial expressions is best described as Botoxian.

Sayang si Gerald Anderson. He registers well on-camera, having a pleasant aura. But he can’t act and can’t even speak straight Filipino. We already have a Sam Milby, so do we really need another good-looking guy who’s limited to doing English-speaking roles?

The movie seemed to target a specific market—Rexona’s brand managers. Duh. Which made me wonder—how much involvement did clients have in making this movie? Did they have final script approval, or were they just FYI’ed? Because ideally I think clients should stay away from the filmmaking process as much as directors and producers shouldn’t be allowed to create a formula for deodorants. Let the experts do their job. If clients dipped their hands into the making of this film, then they should also bear the brunt of the blame for this failure of a film. If this was Star Cinema’s way of bending backwards to please client, they should stop making movies and start doing commercials instead.

If I were Rexona’s brand manager, I’d take several cases of my product and apply them on this movie.

You didn't have to reach the cinema to smell the stink of this movie. Sa trailiers pa lang, sheesh, sa concept pa lang.. amoy na

Funny review
"The movie seemed to target a specific market—Rexona’s brand managers." OUCH
Agree! Disappointing
Thanks for the movie review.

Shunga-ers pa naman ako pag dating sa trailers.

i also watched the movie, and yeah it was ho-hum.

but as you said, Rexona’s “First Day High” campaign has been one of the most thorough and seamless in its execution, and is a great template for future full campaigns.

we have to at least congratulate these marketing folks for being as innovative. dati sa mga pelikula ni ate shawie nakikita ko yung product endorsements ng toyo at suka (silver swan ba yun?) pero puro product appearances lang. this time FDH is, as you've said, a most throrough campaign. sumablay lang talaga sa pelikula. it has pushed the envelope, and that is laudable, at least in the marketing world.
Well, it's another great reason to switch from Rexona to Axe. Wahahaha!!
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