In case you’re unaware, there’s a new movie starring Tom Hardy coming out next month called Legend. No, that title doesn’t refer to Tom’s status as a MySpace legend. Instead, Tom plays identical twin gangsters in the ’50s and ’60s. As if that weren’t enough to have you buying a ticket immediately, the movie also happens to have released a very clever poster that is pretty much the definition of making lemonade out of lemons.
The gist of the poster is that it brags about all the great reviews the movie has gotten. There’s a quote from the Huffington Post calling it “unmissable” and “a British classic.” Then behind the two Tom Hardys are several star ratings from various media outlets. All of them are four or five stars. All, that is, except for one. Guardian critic Benjamin Lee’s two-star rating of the film is featured on the poster, but at first glance you’ll probably miss it. Here’s the critic’s tweet about it:
Incredible way of making my two star review seem like I didn’t hate the film pic.twitter.com/zvOyIxHQ3h
— Benjamin Lee (@benfraserlee) September 8, 2015
Did you see what they did? Look at the two stars between the characters’ heads. You might have thought there were two more stars hiding on either side to make it a four-star review, especially since the four-star MTV rating below it is partially covered. But you would be wrong. Two stars is as far as it goes.
I don’t know about you, but I love this. The marketing team that put this together gets a million snaps from me. It’s definitely sneaky, but you have to admire their creativity. And it’s not like they fibbed and added more stars. What you see on the poster is an accurate representation of the Guardian‘s rating. I much prefer this to an out-of-context quote. That feels dishonest. This just feels winky and fun.
I haven’t been this intrigued by a poster’s hidden message since I saw the unintentional C-word on that Mockingjay poster. Except this time I’m applauding instead of facepalming.