As year-end lists, critics’ best of 2011 and big awards start to roll in, it’s with a pang of regret that "Best Marketing Campaign" won’t be amongst the honors bestowed. If it was, the clear winner would be the Jason Segel-revived “The Muppets” with the David Fincher and Neil Kellerhouse guided industrial gothic “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trailers and poster art in a close second.
The string of Muppet parody trailers throughout the year (from the "Green with Envy" fake-out to the ‘Dragon Tattoo’ send-up and the final meta multi-trailer) worked on three distinct levels. First, slowly re-introducing the Muppets into our pop-culture consciousness. Second, getting across the film’s irreverent, self-effacing sense of humor. And third, keeping Muppets in the conversation, no matter what hot-button movie was stealing headlines at the time. It got to a point that when a big trailer hit, the next question was ‘Will the Muppets do a parody trailer?’ And when a movie penetrates that subliminal realm, you know the marketers have done their job.
The latest parody posters find Kermit, Miss Piggy and Rowlf as the big “Twilight” three just in time for 'Breaking Dawn: Part One'. It’s a no-brainer that the Muppets would go after the most mock-able franchise of them all, with the "Twilight Saga" getting re-rendered as "The Muppet Saga." The word-play pun captions (‘Vamphibian’, ‘Bella Swine’, ‘WereRowlf’) are that classic brand of wakka-wakka variety show humor, an element we look forward to in the film but hope isn’t too overpowering.
Needless to say, we’ll be there November 23rd when ‘The Muppets’ arrive.