We want you!

http://oc.metblogs.com/archives/images/2007/01/menworking-thumb.jpg

My wife and I recently attended a matinee at the AMC Fullerton 20 theaters. I walked up to the box-office, paid for my tickets and got more than I bargained for. The cashier thrust two tickets, a receipt and an advertisement into my hand. Great, not only do I have to see ads in the lobby, before the movie (and often during the movie — hello product placement) but now I have to endure a box-office bombardment of crap as well.

When I studied the advertisement I was fairly dismayed to discover it was a flier directing me to purchase merchandise for the armed forces at their official government web site. I am not really sure why, but this severely rubbed me the wrong way. Why was the Fullerton AMC allowing the military to try and recruit me?

Find out after the jump…

I asked the theater manager that exact same question and she assured me that it wasn’t a recruitment effort, but rather an “advertisement for the varied merchandise available” at this particular branch of the military’s web site. Whatever. Same difference. Buy a T-Shirt, and while you’re there sign up for a tour of duty!

On the way out, I noticed only select patrons received the advertisement, so I assume it was targeted at a particular demographic in Orange County or maybe customers who were attending a certain kind of film. We were after all, seeing a teen oriented flick; I didn’t see them handing these ads to people going to see The Queen.

Don’t get me wrong, I have supported our troops in the past. And by “supported” I mean, had random anonymous erotic encounters with them during my hometown’s Fleet Week. Nothing says “high self esteem” like letting countless drunken sex starved sailors touch your under-the-swimsuit parts. Ah memories of youth. Good times.

Where was I? Oh yes, as I was saying, can’t we just let the recruiters prowl the Fullerton Union High School campus for unsuspecting youth like they always have? Is there really a need to solicit teens at the local AMC too? I go to the movies to escape reality, not to be constantly reminded of it. All of this begs the question: Who’s more desperate in this situation, the theater or the military?

Homoironic WWII photo courtesy of Northwestern University Library

7 Comments so far

  1. Travis (unregistered) on January 29th, 2007 @ 10:12 am

    I’m confused. Are you against military recruitment in general, or are you against property owners being allowed to select the advertisements that they permit on their property? Or are you just blogging?


  2. Jon (unregistered) on January 29th, 2007 @ 10:41 am

    I think I didn’t like what appeared to armed forces using targeted marketing directed at youth. It’s unsettling.

    Also, I am annoyed that I pay a theater to inundate me with advertisements. Also unsettling. Isn’t the point of paying so I don’t have to watch ads? That’s how it works on TV and on the Internets.

    Also, I think I was just blogging. =)


  3. Travis (unregistered) on January 29th, 2007 @ 2:54 pm

    OK, carry on.


  4. DanGarion (unregistered) on January 29th, 2007 @ 7:33 pm

    So a person from the military was profiling everyone entering the building and making the determination as to who gets these advertisements?

    Also I’m confused as to what this was actually selling. Are you making assumptions that the marketing piece was going to try and recruit you? Or do you have proof that shows it was going to try and recruit you instead of just try and get you to buy merchandise? I know of no official military sites that specialize in selling merchandise so I can only assume the link provided was to an authorized military merchandise company.

    Could it be that the production/distribution studio of the movie you were watching was involved in this marketing and was part of an agreement with them and theaters?

    I just don’t see the problem with this. You could have just handed back the paper. Right?


  5. Jon (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 6:03 am

    1) No one was profiling anyone. It was being given to patrons of a particular teen film at the box-office, through December and the 1st part of January. This happened a couple of weeks ago.

    2) They were giving away “cool downloads” and other merch. The site btw, is no longer selling that merch, it was a limited engagement — or so I was told by the theater manager. She also said it was local campaign at that particular theater. She was also very clear that it was just for merchandise and not recruitment. In my eyes it’s the same thing. I dunno, that’s just how I read it.

    3) I did hand the paper back. I handed back to the manager and let them know I didn’t like them advertising to me while I bought tickets and I didn’t much care for the recruitment efforts either. She basically said it was something AMC was testing out and would pass along the feedback.

    I wish I would have kept the flier so I could have scanned it and posted it online. Oh well, live and learn.


  6. Evan (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 8:28 am

    It sounds like a general presence of the military and encouraged military worship that we have in American culture and society. Army commercials that look like video games, constant reminder to “support the troops” no matter what, and so on.


  7. Michael Doss (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 1:14 pm

    How and why would the Army have merchadise that’s not aimed at recruiting? Why else would they do it?

    The best part about it – we all got to help pay for their little expiriment in adverstising. USA! USA! USA!



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