Marketing of Popular Children's Movies?
July 30, 2013 1:34 AM   Subscribe

The Smurfs 2 movie is about to come out. I live in Los Angeles where we are heavily saturated with movie premiere billboards and signage because, y'know, we eat our own. All the Smurfs in the adverts seem to be throwing "gang signs." Are these adverts actually depicting gang signs? Or am I mistaken? It seems like a promotion of a violent subculture, but maybe I'm old and just don't get it. Thanks!
posted by jbenben to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It is 2 fingers, a la a peace sign. This is because it is the second movie.
posted by k8t at 2:07 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Is this the kind of sign you mean? The two fingers/V sign means peace or the number 2.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:58 AM on July 30, 2013

Looking around online, I can only find promo images with the basic two-finger gesture, and considering it is the second movie (oh lord), I guess it'd be limited to that.

Same thing was done with Ghostbusters II, and probably a lot more since.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 2:59 AM on July 30, 2013

Is this the kind of sign you mean? The two fingers/V sign means peace or the number 2.

or bunny ears, in that case.
posted by HuronBob at 3:56 AM on July 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think they a striking generic How To Look Cute In Your Online Profile Photo poses. See here.
posted by Brian Lux at 4:00 AM on July 30, 2013

In addition to the two fingers explanation, the hands/fingers look weird since they have fewer digits than humans.
posted by exogenous at 4:08 AM on July 30, 2013

Response by poster: I originally "got" that the two digits were for Smurfs 2, but there's a variety of poses featuring the two fingers, and it got me wondering.

Especially up close, the art isn't conveying "cute." These Smurfs look really menacing! It's so weird and creepy!!

Along with looking menacing, some of the body positions are awkward.

I wanted to know what else might be coded in there along with the "2" for Smurf's 2, like if the arm or leg positions have any alternative meanings?

I'll try and post a few pics of the ads I mean. Mostly, it's the ones of a single Smurf, full body or 3/4's of a body.

Thanks guys!
posted by jbenben at 10:49 AM on July 30, 2013

Having seen previews for Smurfs 2, I can offer that maybe the "creepy" Smurfs you're seeing (the greyish ones?) are the ones that were apparently created by Gargamel in this movie, and thus presumably are meant to be a little more menacing or at least, eh, hip and spicy compared to those darned old goodie two-shoes Smurfs. If I remember correctly, I believe these new Gargamel-generated critters are actually called the "Naughties" or something like that ... still not gangbangers and I strongly doubt anything is being coded in the posturing besides the concepts "hip and spicy" and "second movie," but pretty damned god-awful in their own right.
posted by DingoMutt at 11:21 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I saw a poster the other day where Smurfette seemed to be doing the Travolta/Thurman Pulp Fiction dance move, with her fingers in a V. That's what I took it for, anyway. It did seem like a weird pose, and maybe I was wrong and it's some stupid hip-hop thing. The "bad" Smurfs mostly look creepy to me because they are corpse-gray, with little blue freckles that make them look even more zombie-like. (Also, on the posters in our neighborhood the grungy bizarro Smurf guy keeps looking way too much like Buddy Hackett as a groundhog.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:24 PM on July 30, 2013

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