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August 21 2009

Dollhouse Season 2 promo poster. The Live Feed has a hi-res version of the poster Fox signed off on. If you're looking for the three leaked low-res posters, they're no longer online.

I like the ones with Eliza above the city. Also: "Anyone can happen" and "Be careful who you wish for" made me smile.
Yeah, I was just about to comment about "Anyone can happen." I like that.
I liked the tag lines too. Not really sure about the visual ideas they're trying to get across, but that's me and promos.
I like the "Be Careful What You Wish For" one best, I think. How do you get your hands on these posters anyway? I know one was available at last year's SDCC, but there's not another con before season 2 starts.
I only really like the Eliza above city ones.

Hope we get some posters featuring more of/ the entire cast.

[ edited by Rhodey on 2009-08-21 18:30 ]
Ooh, I like the last one. "She's everyone you ever wanted." They're all pretty neat, and better than last year's too.
I really like the "Anyone can happen" Poster. I like it because it's really different from the others.
Seeing as the taglines seem to be a riff on the theme song, I'd add a poster that says "there's a stranger in her head".

Also these are much better than last year's posters.
What the Hell is "Project FOX"?
What the Hell is "Project FOX"?

Was wondering that too. Maybe a watermark by the marketing agency that did these?
These posters, by the way, appear to be part of a Project FOX thing where members can weigh in on marketing options for Dollhouse. They were not meant to be seen outside of Project FOX. In other words: Likely not the final posters.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-08-21 19:11 ]
These posters, by the way, appear to be part of a Project FOX thing where members can weigh in on marketing options for Dollhouse. They probably were not meant to be seen outside of Project FOX. In other words: Likely not the final posters.

I totally dind't know about that Project FOX thing. I wonder why we've never seen other stuff leak via that.
Love the posters.

Off topic but god I hate the Coppermine gallery software. Doesn't apply here because the images are small but with large images you click on a thumbnail in the gallery and get...... a bigger thumbnail! Which you have to click again to get the full size picture! Its one of those tiny little things that I have a burning irrational hate for.
Project FOX is a market research type thing. They ask people what they think of episodes, posters, promos etc. They were the people who picked up on the fact viewers liked Needs etc much more than earlier episodes.

PS: I like these posters a lot. The cityscape one is great.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-08-21 19:27 ]
I much prefer the the first two prints, mainly because in them Echo looks knowing. In the second two, she looks weak.
Joss, why do you create these weak female characters?
I'd add a poster that says "there's a stranger in her head".
I want the black and white one.
Yeah, the B&W "anyone can happen" one - also great.
I'd like to see the one in the dollhouse, but with the pose from the black and white one.
I really like the B&W one of Eliza on the letters. She looks pretty badass there. The cityscapes are pretty, but the poses just seem a little off.
The only thing I'd say about the B&W one is the show name is jumbled. I know, I know - that's the point. But still. Branding wise, confusing.
"She's everyone you ever wanted" is my favorite tagline.
I really, really like the first one, the image and tagline together are perfect.

Second one is nice graphically but not much more than that for me. The pose must surely be a homage to something, anyone know what (the gun coming out of the page like that reminds me of one of the 'Dirty Harry' posters) ?

Third one's a bit "meh" for me, the tagline doesn't seem to match that one as well and I guess I don't really "get it". Echo in a glass cage type of thing maybe ?

The fourth one is a nice image unto itself. In the context of Dollhouse it makes me think of 'The Matrix', where Thomas Anderson (i.e. not yet Neo) goes out on the ledge but ultimately lacks the courage/faith to achieve "enlightenment". It also makes me think of Batman but then any cityscape makes me think of Batman (specifically the bit in the 'Knightfall' series where he's trying to work up the courage to take the leap after his back is healed - thinking about it, just like Thomas Anderson, at that point he's not ready and backs down). Also like ol' long ears, Eliza is standing roughly where a building might have a gargoyle, if buildings still had gargoyles.
In the second two, she looks weak.

In the third, I'd say trapped and vulnerable. Which could work, but doesn't really there. It is kinda off putting for me with her looking outside with that expression. I don't think she looks that way in the fourth one at all. I actually don't like the she's badass in leather with a gun! concept so much either though. Except this one (not a poster), because it reminds me of the Matrix and a different meaning of badassery.

I like the aesthetics of the fourth one a lot. Conceptually it's a little odd at first but I think it works.
I like "She's everyone you ever wanted" the best as a tagline, but I kinda like the 1st and 4th visually.

The 2nd one is just too, I don't know jumbled or something.
Hopefully, despite that these were not for general viewing, FOX finds this thread helpful.
The posters have been removed so I added an ETA to the entry so I changed the link to another site.
Ooh, I like them all! Especially the first three. The last one is weaker, I think... I like that she is looking out, but her arms up like that is rather awkward.

[ edited by fortunateizzi on 2009-08-21 23:03 ]
Very nice! And great taglines that probably force people who don't know the show to stop and read again, then be interested.
I love the tags (Anyone can happen) but some of the images are confusing or just wrong for the show imo. I still like the old promo pic of Eliza among mannequins but that's just me.
I like "Anyone can happen" as a tagline. It immediately put alternate lyrics for Rush/Prime Mover into my head.

Lot of Eliza + gun in these promos though. If it actually reflects the direction of the show, that's okay I'm spoiler free for S2. If it's just "hot chicks with guns" advertising for it's own sake... not a fan of that.
Love the "Anyone Can Happen" one but I too wonder if this is the wisest approach. People who don't know the show are going to tune in expecting a kiss-ass chick and they're going to get an ensemble science fiction show about the nature of the persona...with some kicking ass here and there. At least that's the direction it looked we were headed in at the end of season 1.
Continuing to play with the promo images released yesterday, here's my poster tinkering.
The Live Feed is claiming that FOX just "signed off" on the "anyone can happen" poster.
Said site also serves up the large full-res copy. So that would seem pretty certain. Heh.
I wish her foot looked like it was resting on the "O". But honestly, if I met a genie, I wouldn't waste it on something so trivial. Just observing.
That poster is so very much going up in my office as soon as possible. Yay!
Okay, resident gun obsessive chiming in here on the "Approved" poster.

Finger on the trigger is now okay because it looks like she's about to shoot someone.

But holding that gun at that angle to her arm is going to have some serious recoil issues.

If it was me I'd have repeated "Dollhouse" alongside the date and time, just in case anyone doesn't manage to recognise what the jumbled up letters are...
I still think they could have had Assertive Echo without falling back on the cliche of doing so by having a gun, but this was my second choice of the four, so I'm good.
Nice, they bought off on the good one.
Pretty awesome, like the posters, especially the black and white 'anyone can happen'. I do think that more ensemble pictures would be good.

I'm glad for some promotion of Dollhouse. I got so excited the other night when I saw a commercial for Dollhouse DVD! Of course I think it was on Adult Swim at 4am (Cowboy Bebop, very Firefly-esque IMHO) but hey, better than nothing.
I'm glad I wasn't the only one to noticed the improper handgun handling, but that tends to be common now a days. Really, it's hard to judge anything wrong with a poster of Eliza. She's looks incredible from every point of view.
still really REALLY loving that font.
The SpoilerTV link no longer works.

For anyone just joining, SpoilerTV and the original link had the posters in a different order, the original order that people above Simon's edit are talking about was:

1. Eliza with gun looking v. badass sat in a "dollhouse", tag "Be careful what you wish for" (my favourite).
2. The graphical one that's now apparently "approved".
3. Eliza in Echo clothes, arms up, leaning against a window.
4. Eliza on the ledge of a building.
Hmmmm Fox is really cracking down. Ah well, I've reworked the entry.
Fox's legal department may be trying to destroy the internet one link at a time. It makes sense therefore to assume they're a front company for the People's Republic of China.

Totally OT BTW, but from the Dollhouse poster at the LiveFeed site, there's a link to this little bundle of awesome - a teaser poster for 'Dexter' season 4 (which might - but won't - be subtitled "Devoted Daddy Dexter" ;).
It does seem bizarre that Fox is going to so much trouble to stop web sites publishing promotional posters that they themselves made.

Unless they think that these posters are so vomit-inducingly awful that they will put people off watching the show, which the comments suggest isn't the case, then what's the worst that could happen? People tune in and watch the show?

It does seem that no matter how many really great things the new Fox does there's still someone working there determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Maybe they just really hate us?
If the intent was for the focus to be on one promo poster then I think Fox are well within their rights to ask that the other leaked posters be taken down. We were never supposed to seem them. We got a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the pr department and now the door is shut.
Point taken Simon. But even if they want to focus on one officially then what's the harm in having others out there? Is someone tempted to watch the show because of the official poster going to be put off by one of the unofficial ones?
Or could someone who wasn't won over by the official one see one of the others and think "That looks cool, maybe I will check it out"?

Part of me suspects, that like the leaked set photos of Alpha's lair and other cases, that this is a deliberate viral exercise.

For one, at the stage when marketing are playing around with concepts for posters they may well not know for certain the air date of the show. Lots of trial material usually has details like the date either blank or made up. If its for internal use only then it doesn't matter.
If all of these had the actual air date then that suggests they were meant for public consumption. What better than to have them "leak" and then removed and have the rabid fans talking about them?
But even if they want to focus on one officially then what's the harm in having others out there?

Because if you've decided upon the approach of your campaign you wouldn't want rough drafts or unapproved copies distracting people from it.
It's not a viral exercise. They were leaked and Project FOX members might have had their accounts deleted because of it.
Eh. I don't know about this one. I just feel it's kinda odd and off kilter or something.

But the tagline ain't bad.
I recall that during the early days of S1, people were concerned about FOX not having a clear vision in marketing the show.
So I guess we can add a Pollyanna spin here by observing that FOX seem to be taking a firmer hand towards the marketing and promotion of Season 2, and are actually giving considered thought to the image the show is projecting.
I just hope they continue to advertise and market heavily... especially during prime time.
I don't think they have a clear vision at all. Unless it's perhaps of a different show.
So I'm just being paranoid and Fox aren't doing some viral publicity?

Well they should be. Look at the publicity this has got them. Far more than if they'd just released that one poster!

(zz9: Obsessed with guns AND paranoid.... )
Does that mean you think guns are out to get you ?
I'm still partial to the first one, inside a dollhouse. I'd have thought they'd go that way, since they had already released similar promotional photos and you'd think they'd try for some sort of brand consistency.

The advantage of the one they chose is that it will stand out against other shows' campaigns which aren't as minimalist. Then again, if they used, for example, the yellow dollhouse promotional images as the basis, those day-glo colors would have stood out against other shows' campaigns as well.

As I keep saying, the one they chose was my second choice, so I'm good. But I do find it weird that other FOX shows often have promotional campaigns that that stand out but still tend to be more consistent with the actual show. I've seen some House stuff that is visually striking but thematically connects to the show itself at the same time.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2009-08-22 20:50 ]
B!x, maybe Dollhouse is just a difficult show to connect to? The chosen poster makes it look like Alias, with not a hint of the mindwipe/identity/soul aspect of the show. How would you sell those themes with a single image?

And Saje, no the guns are not out to get me. The pixies who live under my sofa are the ones after me.
You don't have to communicate an entire premise, I just think you should connect to it somehow (which the visual of the children's dollhouse does, in a way). While, as I said, this one was my second choice, in the end it basically has very little connection to the show, and my ranking it that high is more a result of it being an inherent visual draw regardless of what it happens to be promoting.

I'm just not one of those people who believes marketing's job is simply to draw people in, period. The first option should always be to draw people in while actually connecting to the show itself somehow. It's not impossible to so that with Dollhouse, and I remain somehow perplexed that they don't seem to want to.
(Or, let me put it this way: The tagline is "anyone can happen" -- but the poster doesn't say that, it says "woman with a gun", which isn't "anyone" it's a specific one. The "anyone can happen" tagline, or even the "be careful who you wish for" tagline, works far better, IMHO, with the no-gun reclining in a children's dollhouse chair promotional image, precisely because Echo isn't outwardly showing any particular persona, but is looking knowing in a Mona Lisa sort of way. That's far more powerful and intriguing as an image than a cliche "girl with a gun".)
I agree B!x, no point drawing people in by misleading them only for them to all give up after ten minutes because the show isn't what they expected.
But how do you represent Dollhouse on a one sheet? A "Being John Malkovitch" type poster with hundreds of Echo's, all dressed in different uniforms and clothes might do it.

Maybe we should have a photoshop competition?
But how do you represent Dollhouse on a one sheet?

Like this one from the first season ?
Huh, missed that first time round.

The "infinite Echoes" could work but then it doesn't have anything to do with the house itself (and there's no hint that she's also more than all the imprints she "plays"). I really liked the first one The One True b!X mentions because it's got the primary-coloured, child-like house and the badassery juxtaposed against it and with the tagline it wraps it all up thematically to me (cos it also says none of it is exactly as it seems) but I can also see the gun thing being a) misleading and b) a bit of a cliche. That said, the one with ED reclining doesn't really say much to me, there's the juxtaposition but i'm not sure the "knowing" part (i.e. more than meets the eye) comes across that well.

And those pixies are little bastards. I sent some fairies riding pink elephants in after mine, seems to have done the trick.
Yeh Sage, except now you're stuck with a bunch of elephants and fairies making a ruckus under your bed every night. Good one!

I'd like to see a campaign where we see separate images of the cast that then slot together to form a narrative. People running through halls and whatnot, which culminates in Echo finding images of her past personas and then reacting with "Who am I?".

It'd get new viewers up to speed on the show and also be an opportunity to feature all of the characters. (I mean, Eliza is lovely, but ultimately DH works best as an ensemble show, and we all know it.)
The poster 'leak', Alpha's lair etc weren't some kind of co-ordinated viral activity - it was just things being posted publicly which shouldn't have been.

I do believe in terms of publicity they're taking a bit of a step up this year, however. Maybe not in budget, but at least we're not being exposed to all the doom and gloom of last season.

I'd also disagree with b!X, I think the marketing department have the job of bringing in as many eyes as possible, and it's up to the showrunners to keep them around.

[ edited by gossi on 2009-08-23 11:27 ]
I agree with gossi's last point. I think the posters should just be aimed almost exclusively at bringing in as many new viewers as possible thematic resonance be damned. Especially when our show is hardly a ratings power (doll)house. Beggars can't be poster choosers
Sure but you have to keep them afterwards. Eliza in a NASCAR, err, car might get the most bums on seats but those bums won't be on the seats the following week cos that's not what it's about.
Sure, obviously I'm exaggerating. It has to have a connection to the show. But here we're debating details like the expression on Eliza's face. And if a poster helps attract new viewers I'm not too fussed if it misses some subtleties or even if it's a little bit misleading
The problem with thematic resonance be damned is it risks the backlash risked by any bait and switch. There's simply no reason advertising can't attract interest while also reflecting what's being advertised.

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