Fandango's lovable puppets may not ease the rancor of the commercial-hating moviegoing masses. But the brown paper lunch bags with a dash of attitude will die trying.
"Our primary objective is to create brand awareness and likability," and the cinema-advertising backlash is "absolutely the No. 1 driving factor" when creating a new campaign, says Miyuki Kitamura, vp of marketing and product development at Fandango in Los Angeles.
Two new trailers by Amoeba in Santa Monica, Calif., will roll out in May. One shows a female puppet teaching her dog puppet how to say "Fandango." In another, several of the puppets sing to each other, Bollywood style, about buying tickets and going to the movies.
The puppets are decorated with all sorts of materials, from peppermints to seashells to buttons. "We haven't repeated a single element," Kitamura notes proudly.
Feedback is overwhelmingly positive, says Kitamura, adding that fans have sent photos of their bag-puppet Halloween costumes, and nonprofits have been known to host bag-puppet-themed fundraisers.
But not everyone is charmed. One visitor to RateItAll.com (where the puppets get 3.75 stars out of 5) writes, "I don't get how paper bag puppets are supposed to be cool (especially the ones they put chest hair on). I hate having to watch it in the previews every time I go out to see a movie."