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Old 12-17-2007, 12:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What Do You Think of This Playing In Theaters Before the Feature Film?

We went to see American Gangster last month and to "I am Legend", the other day. A music video, if that is what it is best to call it, available here:

http://www.1800goguard.com/ , was "presented" loudly and longly on each of the two trips to the theater. It is titled <a href="http://www.1800goguard.com/movie/homePageEntrance.php">Citizen Soldier</a> ,performed by "3 Doors Down".

It is a series of clips to accompany the soundtrack that include scenes of American patriots defending their homeland against revolutionary war era British troops, with the lyrics "citizen soldier" booming through the theater sound system. Those visuals seem "in synch" with the song title and lyrics, especially since it is intended as a recruiting pitch for the national guard.

My objections were that it contradicted the "home guard", "citizen soldier", revolutionary war patriot themes by including at least half of the video clips depicting scenes of US soldiers in foreign combat and other military activities in foreign locales. It was too long, too loud, and too militaristic because it had too many scenes contradicting the "citizen soldier", national guard "message".

It seemed like an militaristic intrusion into an anticipated experience of viewing pre-feature movie trailers, aimed at a targeted audience, the younger people who are the majority of movie patrons. It seemed to be communicating that the "new national guard" is a "go anywhere" globally projected fighting force, indistinguishable from the professional "regular army", save for the fact that it wants to recruit what used to be called, "weekend warriors", part-time reservists who are full-time domestic civilain workers.

It seems an unprecedented attempt, via the venue chosen to show it, and the medium, selected, an otherwise "normal" pop music album cut, to "mix" popular media culture with a military one, a mini "triumph of the will".

I guess I don't want to pay to see a military recruiting video and an attempt to condtion all of us into accepting that the national guard is not a force primarily to protect us inside our borders, but a regular <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18980-2004Jun5.html">active duty branch</a> of the military, rendering the song title "Citizen Soldiers",meaningless.

I'd like to read and discuss other reactions from those who have viewed it or have a crtique to post about my take on it.
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I saw it. Didnt mind it much. I thought it was funny, because it was playing before I saw Across the Universe. Gotta love duality.

I suppose that the reason why the armed forces is reaching out to younger people is because there's very little appeal in joining, at least from my standpoint. You'd be joining and fighting in a war that a majority of people think is unwinnable and pointless. I look at it this way: It sure as hell beats a draft!
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Old 12-17-2007, 06:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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...it's just a commercial. They paid for advertising space. I don't want to see that any more or less than the car commercials, cellphone commercials, or any other commercials. I don't see what the content of the commercial has to do with the venue- the theater didn't create the video, someone advertising for the National Guard did, and bought ad space in a theater.
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Old 12-17-2007, 06:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I saw the ad before No Country For Old Men and I thought it fairly ironic that the fictional movie showed violence in a more realistic manner than did the 'commercial' for war.

Personally, I think it's screwed up, but there's not that much you can do about it. I am sure they showed enlistment ads before movies during WWII. Not sure about Vietnam. It's a wartime thing.

The song sucked, that's for sure.

..........

minutes later, I get your point about the 'citizen soldier' bit, though...didn't think about it at the time, but you're right...they are promoting it as if it were the army, navy, etc.
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Old 12-17-2007, 06:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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In a perfect world our National Guard soldiers would actually stay behind and, well, guard the nation. They'd respond to natural disasters, provide services to the community, guard the border, etc. While our Guard soldiers still do all of that (between deployments, anyway), Bush's pointless war has been sending Guard soldiers all over the world for the past several years. Now they deploy as often as (or more often than) active duty soldiers, and often for longer. Still, if you actually pay attention to the video most of those scenes you're referring to where they're "overseas" look like they are actually natural disasters to which the Guard is responding.

Meh, if they paid big bucks for the spot (which I'm sure they did) then so what? It's a hell of a lot better than a lot of other stuff I've seen while waiting for the featured presentation.

EDIT: After watching it again it seems that about half of the scenes take place "overseas," and the rest is on American soil. Maybe I should pay more attention
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't want commercials playing before movies that I pay to see in the theater.

I don't care if they are for feed the starving children, the neighborhood pizza shop, or enlisting in the armed forces. I understand that the theater venue has to increase revenue since most ticket sales in the first 2-3 weeks of a film goes directly to the studios. Venues rely on conferences, concessions, and advertising for their income.

My way of dealing with it is simple: I don't pay to see movies in theaters very often. So far this year I have paid to see a movie in a theater 1 time, so that I could go to the theater with a friend. I go to screeners and industry releases instead. I get the theater experience without the hassle of the commercials and the $22.50 cost of tickets.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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it's a commercial, and i dont' understand why i have to see a commercial before i see a movie. same with the coke commercials and the volkswagon commercials before the movie.

that said, it's not a bad song, and it's entertaining enough to where it doesn't bother me.

i think it's genius to have recruiting propaganda in the form of entertainment. as a piece of propaganda, it works.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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First, it's a couple minute commercial. It's not like it cuts into the time of the movie. You pay to see the movie, and they still show you the whole thing. *shrug* Don't see the big deal.

Second, I hate recruiting commercials, but whatever makes them cash, more power to them.

Lastly, there seems to be some misconception about "citizen soldier". I'm not sure why the common belief is that it means we don't deploy overseas. The National Guard has played a very large role in every conflict the US has ever seen. Even overseas. In fact, I don't know of a National Guard unit that has been around a while that does not have a campaign streamer for WWI, WWII and Vietnam, and very few are without one for Korea. None are without one for OEF/OIF.

The reason Guardsmen are "citizen soldiers" is because we are not full-time, active duty soldiers. We still have civilian lives. We still work civilian jobs and/or go to college. We are a duality of citizen and soldier, as opposed to a career ground pounder. The "citizen" part doesn't mean we just sit around drinking beers one weekend a month, and host BBQs. *grumble* I just don't get where that idea came from...
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm just opposed to being advertised to once I've already put down money for entertainment. Period.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm just opposed to being advertised to once I've already put down money for entertainment. Period.
That's really my problem. I just hate seeing advertisements when I've paid to get into the theater. What I really hate about it is if the theaters are suddenly getting all this ad revenue they're making us sit through, why aren't they passing a bit of the profit on to us with lower movie tickets? They'll never do it, of course (just like in-game advertising won't result in lower game costs), but damnit... I don't want to pay $10 to see a movie and then watch commercials.

Really, though... it's better than Regal's "Twenty" or whatever they're calling it now ("First Look?")
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm just opposed to being advertised to once I've already put down money for entertainment. Period.
I wouldn't mind so much if they started the damn film at the time it was listed at.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I've run counter recruitment for years at schools and shopping malls, but it's expensive to purchase movie and TV advertising. Without centralization (which draws attention), it's very difficult to keep up with the giant military recruitment budget. Booing the commercial doesn't work, and it's near impossible to say something during the add that doesn't piss people off.

There's little one can do about it except vote Paul or Kucinich, neither of which would probably want those adds (though for different reasons).
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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well i personally liked it. Mainly becuase it touched me. I have seen people actually do what was showed in the video. Also when they showed it to us in our unit, there was an interview with 3 doors down, and they did this at no cost. pretty cool if you ask me.

ya it sux that they show it in the moves and such. but if you think about how much they spend on defense, it amazes me that they didnt do this earlier.

but we ARE citizen soldiers.

we dont have to stay on post and train all day everyday.

The Nat Guard is relaxed compared to active duty. I know ALOT of troops that go AGR (ACTIVE GUARD RESERVE.) which is active duty but stay in Alaska, and help with local issues, but still get deployed. The reason we are "going places" is becuase we are stretched really thin.

what they are really trying to say is that you will be "part time" military and you get to train with them but you still get to go home and you have a little more freedom than ACTIVE DUTY.

ONCE you hit the sand box, Citizen soldier goes out the window.
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't mind it much either. It doens't bother me any more or less than the 458 other previews they show nowadays before the feature film. Its noisy, macho and chaotic...but then, so are soldiers. You've got a good 15-20 minutes of previews, but this has sometimes alerted us to upcoming movies so no worries.
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Old 12-18-2007, 12:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halx
I'm just opposed to being advertised to once I've already put down money for entertainment. Period.
Do you pay for cable TV? You still get ads even on most cable stations.

Do you pay for your cell phone? They still send you ads in your bills.

I agree that it's annoying, and frankly advertisement has little effect on my buying trends or behavior. However, it obviously DOES work or it wouldn't be done. Meh!
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Old 12-18-2007, 06:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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i'm another one that cant stand ads at the movies. the only thing that irked me more was when they passed the can for some charity before the movie.
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Old 12-18-2007, 07:21 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The National Guard is attempting to raise it's market share amongst the population. At the moment it is the least well thought of branch of the military. The video, in addition to being a recruiting tool, is attempting to address that problem. Despite the publics view of the Guard, their recruiting force is the envy of the armed forces (as is evidenced by the fact that they are now recruiting for the active Army, as well as their own mission). The reason is that they finally realised that marketing was more than just handing out pencils to high school kids. Hence the video you see at the theater.


I don't like the video myself, I think it is cheesy, but it is bringing in a lot of leads to Guard recruiters.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:12 AM   #18 (permalink)
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The juxtaposition of the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts and the American Revolution really bothered me. I totally understand that the people who designed the ad are trying to make the best of the situation they are in, and that NG troops (or their predecessors) are involved in both conflicts, but the ad itself struck me more as propaganda than advertising.

There are lots of great things about the National Guard, and about military service in general. However, the idea that I should join up and get sent to Iraq because I'm moved by recreations of the Revolutionary War is extremely offensive to me.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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but the ad itself struck me more as propaganda than advertising.
Whats the difference?
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:19 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Movie theaters are not a civic service, they are businesses run for the explicit purpose of making money. You see ads because the advertisers pay the theater to show you the ads. If you don't like it, don't spend money there; I'm sure there's a community theater around that shows cheap movies once they start dropping from major theaters.
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There's little one can do about it except vote Paul or Kucinich, neither of which would probably want those adds (though for different reasons).
If that's the choice, I think I can deal with the ads.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:53 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I just have problems with the military "advertising" to get recruits.

I went Navy but not from some slick ad. Long story short, I felt I needed to mature and saw the military as a way to do it. (Didn't help, but that was my fault.)

If the military paid better and put those "big" advertising dollars into pay for the enlisted men and women, recruiting would probably be easier.

What happened to recruiters going to schools? I find it sad that they will pay millions to advertise to get our kids to enlist but once enlisted pay them shit to defend our country and risk their lives. There's something seriously fucked up with that and a government that approves that type of behavior.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:36 AM   #22 (permalink)
 
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i dislike commercials at a theater or--particularly--a concert. between the 2, though, the second is more annoying. i saw the x-ecutioners a couple years ago brought to you by red bull or another of those drinks that taste like free-based mountain dew. they played a 15 minute commerical between sets made up entirely of clips of skater kids falling on things--railings, pavement, spiky objects. it was very loud. it was interminable. there was no escape.

this might have bugged me so much because i dont watch tv and so when i see newer adverts i find them assaultive. flash flash flash.

the particular commercial is a rehash of the halftime thing that made the 2001-2002 superbowl into a kind of televisual nuremberg rally.
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:50 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubertuber
The juxtaposition of the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts and the American Revolution really bothered me. I totally understand that the people who designed the ad are trying to make the best of the situation they are in, and that NG troops (or their predecessors) are involved in both conflicts, but the ad itself struck me more as propaganda than advertising.

There are lots of great things about the National Guard, and about military service in general. However, the idea that I should join up and get sent to Iraq because I'm moved by recreations of the Revolutionary War is extremely offensive to me.
uber, I tried and did a much poorer job putting into words, the reactions to "Citizen Soldier", you posted. I've let myself be subjected to it, twice, on the big screen, and the second time was tougher because it was predictable and more of an assault on the senses and sensibilities.

It seems as much of a commercial for the NG as it does for post 9/11 politics driven, US military reven-ture, and for the band, as their MTV offering.
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:22 AM   #24 (permalink)
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uber, I tried and did a much poorer job putting into words, the reactions to "Citizen Soldier", you posted. I've let myself be subjected to it, twice, on the big screen, and the second time was tougher because it was predictable and more of an assault on the senses and sensibilities.

It seems as much of a commercial for the NG as it does for post 9/11 politics driven, US military reven-ture, and for the band, as their MTV offering.
Guess you will need to rent DVD's for a while to get over it.
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:27 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Oh man, I just saw that yesterday. They played it right before Juno began, which I thought was hilarious. Nothing got that matinee crowd of middle-aged women and senior citizens quite as excited as an unintentionally hilarious National Guard commercial set to a Three Doors Down song, I'm sure.

I went to see the movie with my cousin, who is a 1st. Lieutenant in the Army. He couldn't stop laughing about how the National Guard was filled with a bunch of out-of-shape regular people with no training, discipline, or equipment. He really laughed hard when the guardsmen in the commercial cleared a room by opening the door and bursting in, which as you may imagine isn't standard operating procedure. As I said at the time, I can't believe my tax dollars are used for this.
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:29 PM   #26 (permalink)
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As I said at the time, I can't believe my tax dollars are used for this.
This is the bottom line. I'm not paying for these fucking commercials. If you want to have a commercial that says "We fucked up, now we're asking you to pay for it", I might consider it, but this load of horse shit is offensive.
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Old 12-22-2007, 03:17 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by guy44
Oh man, I just saw that yesterday. They played it right before Juno began, which I thought was hilarious. Nothing got that matinee crowd of middle-aged women and senior citizens quite as excited as an unintentionally hilarious National Guard commercial set to a Three Doors Down song, I'm sure.

I went to see the movie with my cousin, who is a 1st. Lieutenant in the Army. He couldn't stop laughing about how the National Guard was filled with a bunch of out-of-shape regular people with no training, discipline, or equipment. He really laughed hard when the guardsmen in the commercial cleared a room by opening the door and bursting in, which as you may imagine isn't standard operating procedure. As I said at the time, I can't believe my tax dollars are used for this.
Is your cousin AG by any chance?

The room entry in the video is pretty accurate, suprising given the theatric nature of the video. Since your cousin didn't realize this I can only assume he has never been part of a dynamic entry before, probably because he is a pogue. Either way, he should know that the guard is taking up the active Armys slack, and doing a damn good job of it (sometimes better than they can do themselves). Only bitches gripe to civilians about other branches of the military. One team, one fight.
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Old 12-22-2007, 03:57 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Actually I've found that even the best Air Force bitches about Navy Air. It's just the nature of things.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:33 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I bitch about other branches all the time, but only to other military types. I draw the line at bitching to civilians, they don't understand...
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:47 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I bitch about other branches all the time, but only to other military types. I draw the line at bitching to civilians, they don't understand...
This means one of two things:
1) I've somehow enlisted without knowing it.
2) Others don't stick to your particular code.

I kinda hope it's 2.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:48 PM   #31 (permalink)
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This is the bottom line. I'm not paying for these fucking commercials. If you want to have a commercial that says "We fucked up, now we're asking you to pay for it", I might consider it, but this load of horse shit is offensive.
Ah well, sucks to be you then doesn't it?

I think its offensive that my tax money goes to people who never worked a day in their life, who are having more children.

Its best not to get overly worked up about it.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:52 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Ah well, sucks to be you then doesn't it?
VERY rarely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustwo
I think its offensive that my tax money goes to people who never worked a day in their life, who are having more children.

Its best not to get overly worked up about it.
Considering the Dems will probably be in charge again soon, I will find myself in a position where this could actually be addressed.
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:13 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I saw it. Didnt mind it much. I thought it was funny, because it was playing before I saw Across the Universe. Gotta love duality.
I think I can top that-- I went to see Alien vs Predator:Requiem the day it came out, and like everything else these days it had the commercial for the National Guard at the beginning. And then halfway through the movie the National Guard gets called in and promptly chowed upon by aliens. I have to admit that made me chuckle just a bit in the context.
"Join the National Guard! Visit fascinating places, meet interesting creatures, and be eaten by them!"


As for good, bad, or indifferent I guess I've never really cared about those commercials in particular. I don't drink Coke either but it's never bothered me to see those commercials before hand, my eyes just glaze over a bit and I keep waiting for the movie to start. Maybe some people are more predisposed to just accepting advertising? I don't really watch alot of TV so I can't blame it on that, but with as prevalent as advertising is these days (TV, internet banners, magazines) most of the time I don't even pay much attention.
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:40 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I take it a lot of you guys go to Regal theaters?
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:11 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Time was I used to see three or four movies a week. Even when I grew up and had real things to spend money on, I still used to see a couple a month. Then they started running commercials in the theatre, and I plan on seeing maybe two movies this year. If that.

I have a tire, gasoline, and matches reserved for the brilliant SH*Thead who came up with the idea of running regular commercials before the movie. They can DIAF and I'd be happy to help.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:41 PM   #36 (permalink)
 
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I can't remember where I read the article, but someone somewhere found that the ticket purchase was actually a contract, and with all of the previews and commercials prior to the movie, the movie always ran late. Since it was breach of the contract, I think his suit was successful.
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Old 04-04-2008, 04:11 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TotalMILF
In a perfect world our National Guard soldiers would actually stay behind and, well, guard the nation. They'd respond to natural disasters, provide services to the community, guard the border, etc. While our Guard soldiers still do all of that (between deployments, anyway), Bush's pointless war has been sending Guard soldiers all over the world for the past several years. Now they deploy as often as (or more often than) active duty soldiers, and often for longer. Still, if you actually pay attention to the video most of those scenes you're referring to where they're "overseas" look like they are actually natural disasters to which the Guard is responding.

I think there should be a military style group that does that. I would join something like that if I didn't have to leave the US, Canada, or Mexico.
ASU2003 is offline  
 

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