Tracking the TV Spots for John Carter DVD/Blu-ray

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UPDATE Monday 5:42 PDT:  The ads seem to have started today.  Reports now coming in of ads on Syfy Channel and NBC “America’s Got Talent”.  Will update as we hear more.

UPDATE Monday 7:20 PDT:  Multiple reports are coming in now, all on NBC — America’s Got Talent, and Syfy Channel.  Haven’t heard anything regarding any other networks.


Over the weekend while watching TV I have seen TV spots for three June 5 DVD/Blu-ray releases;  Safe-House,  Act of Valor, and Journey 2.  I have yet to see any ads for John Carter.  Have you?  If you’ve seen any TV spots for John Carter DVD release, please let me know with a comment and include as much of the following as possible:

  • Date/Time you saw it
  • Network/show you saw it on
  • Your geographical location

Thanks ….

I also posted this question at the Facebook group page and it’s generated several dozen comments.   So far, there is only one report of anyone seeing an ad — on SyFy Channel, during a playing of an Indiana Jones movie, advertising John Carter as a “classic tale”:

UPDATE:  Someone just saw a “great non-white ape ad” on NBC — Monday at 5:30 Pacific Time.

Here are the comments from the Facebook Group:

    • DB: I sat through hours and hours of Disney XD programming yesterday just to look for “JC” ads, but all I got were commercials for “The Avengers. ” They seriously think that people don’t know that movie is around…?

    • BW: Michael – Can’t say I watch a lot of tv, but haven’t seen one tv ad for the John Carter DVD. And I know I’m likely being cynical, but doesn’t surprise me especially.

    • SG: I’m trying to think if I ever see ads for DVDs – any DVDs. Maybe I’m on TiVo and Hulu too much…

    • DG If there are going to be any tv ads, they’ll probably start late this week or even this weekend, to prime the pump for the Tuesday release. Right now we’d be seeing ads for dvd’s coming out Tues 5/29. My guess is that we’ll be seeing standard dvd release treatment, nothing more, nothing less. Disney learns slow, when it learns at all.

    • CB: I was thinking about this too, but David is right. Ads probably wont be until next weekend, and thinking about it, when have you ever really seen a ton of ads for a DVD release for a film besides something huge like “The Avengers?” I dont remember too many. Im sure it wont impact sales that much. Taken sold over 4 million copies in its first year, how many ads did it have? We’ll see what happens.

    • BB: No TV ads around here…

    • DB: I don’t watch a lot of TV and definitely not much network TV, and even I notice ads for DVD releases pretty often. That’s why I would expect to see ads for “JC” during the ABC national news, or during “Jeopardy,” and I even expect that local showbiz clown on KABC to mention it during his DVD segment next week (he always does one on Tuesdays).

    • KT:  Not one ad. :/

    • MS:  ?.. well, actually what prompted me asking this was that last night I saw a bunch of ads on TV for DVD/Blu-ray releases on June 5: Safe House, Act of Valor, and Journey 2. So three of JC’s competitors are up and advertising now.
    • DG: Were they on cable or broadcast? Not sure if that’d make any difference. Does make me wonder if Disney’s going to tank the dvd release, too. Be interesting to see the Sunday ads for Target, Walmart, etc, next week.
    • MS: I was watching TNT and ESPN when I saw them.

    • JP: We should already be seeing ads- especially if Disney has any interest in trying to off-set the disappointing box office. Recent films like Contraband, Mission Impossible 4, and The Grey all received a great deal of promotion before, during, and after the actual week of release. (And I don’t even watch much tv, yet still saw ads for those films repeatedly.) Even last summer’s big flop, Cowboys and Aliens, was given a strong ad campaign prior to the film’s dvd release.

    • BB:  And I keep seeing a lot of Video on demand commercials for the Grey. I watch a lot of SyFy tv when I do watch television and if ANYWHERE, John Carter ads should be blanketed on SyFy.

    • CB:  Honestly, I dont mean to be an optimist but I really dont think it matters that much. The film still did end up hitting close to 300 million in the box office, it was one of the most pirated films on the entire internet over the past month, and it seems to have a strong “cult” following. The people who are going to buy it are going to buy it, ads or not. I would almost guarantee it leads the week in sales from June 5th-June 12th over Safe House and Act of Valor, and Journey 2 should be close. Besides, remember its not only the 1st week that counts. Its the next three months and the holiday season. People may not know it was out until July, and then a bunch of people buy it. Again, Taken sold over 4 million copies, I’d guarantee that it sold less than 1 million its first week.

    • MS:   CB…. I think you’re right on several counts– it will outsell Safe House, Act of Valor, and Jounrey 2. And it will do so in spite of having weaker advertising than any of them. The question for me is — why should John Carter have weaker advertising than the competition? What is the reason/justification for that? It’s a great testament to the film and its fans that it can overcome the lack of support — but what about that lack of support? If, indeed, that’s what ends up being the case. What we have right now is just a snapshot in time of the marketing…..there are still 8 days until the release. I don’t want to pre-judge it …. I do hope people will keep this thread alive and let us know when they start seeing ads.

    • KS: If they do run ads, it will probably be some they made months ago when they produced the trailers and it will probably be the giant white apes. I think everything was decided months ago. I’m actually amazed they update their Facebook page.

    • CB: I get what you are saying. I hope the fact that they are not putting a lot of time/money into ads doesnt mean they are already decided on not making a sequel…

    • BB:  Looks like the heavy lifting is going to be up to us again. Maybe Disney figures “Why bother? We get the marketing free from the fans and they do it better.” Spielberg and Perlmutter sure know its true.

    • DB:  You know, I was saying the same thing the other day. We are doing their marketing for them, free of charge, and have been far more effective in ways. It’s still in their best interest to make money on their own. (It’s just a hobby on our part)!
    • MS: I’m pretty are the Facebook updates were all in the can months ago too. “How many swarovski crystals were used on Dejah Thoris’ wedding gown?” …”What are Matai Shang’s plans for Barsoom?” ……these are all things that some marketing intern put together 6 months ago. Even the “buy the DVD and Blu-ray” ads could have been done months ago — there is nothing that gies them a sense of “now” to them.

    • KT:  All great thoughts and I have to say I’ve thought many of them as no ads have surfaced yet.

    • BW: The only thing I’ve seen is actual updates again on their Facebook page, other than that….nothing.
    • MW Haven’t seen a damn one.
    • KS: At least they have a clip playing first on their store DVD page. I’ll give them that.
    • BB: JUST found out from someone on Twitter … John Carter IS being advertised on SyFy. He just saw an ad during Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade and now Disney is advertising John Carter as a classic tale. I haven’t seen it yet, so I suppose its more of the white apes though…

    • MS Thanks BB …. that’s good and I think “classic tale” could be a good angle…..


  • Thank’s for the heads up on the Target prices. I was going to order through Amazon but Target’s prices are a $5 lower, well worth waiting for.

  • Just a heads up to everyone, Target will be selling the DVD for $16.99, the BD/DVD for $19.99, and the 3D/BD/DVD/Digital copy for $24.99 next week. Not sure how many copies Target will be getting, but it doesn’t look like it will have a great amount of space allocated to it.

  • I saw 2 commercials. Both on NBC. One at 8:30 during America’s got talent and one at 9:30 during American Ninja Warior (both Pacific time). They were so much improved form the stuff we saw during pre-release. No white apes and actually shows the story, practically in sequence!

    My husband also saw the DVD available for rent at our local video store last night.

  • Just saw it, 5:50am, Cartoon Network, in Sonoma County, California.

    (And I gotta say, it was a pretty succinct, decent little ad, too.)

  • just saw it on sportscenter at 9:44 pacific time. commercial isn’t bad for a 15 second spot.

  • Haven’t seen any tv ads, but noticed that WalMart has it featured on one of their front door banners (the ones that cover the loss-prevention alarms).

    Nothing spectacular, just coming June 5th with that hideous DVD/BR cover art.

  • I have seen it 4-5 times, most recently on America’s Got Talent between 8-9 PM EST and just saw it on ScyFi Channnel at 10:13 PM EST


  • Disney is now promoting it as a classic tale? That’s too funny!

    But nope haven’t seen any spots. I did find two reviews of the Blu-Ray I linked to on my blog for those interested Just be warned: The first reviewer was mixed on the movie while the second one pissed me off by dismissing ERB as the Michael Bay of his day and basically goes from there. Both do admit the film looks and sounds great even though the extras sound a little thin based on their comments.

  • Just saw a commercial for the DVD on NBC at 830pm eastern. I live in Cheektowaga, NY (outside Buffalo). I saw this promo a few other times this past week also, but not sure which channel. BARSOOM…

  • I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve heard they’ve been playing for the last few days. btw there is more good John Carter news to report kinda, sorta lol. um John Carter was the #2 most pirated movie for the week ending May 27th only falling one spot from last week

  • Nothing, Nada, Nichts, Zip. Not surprising, though – just next phase of their “plan”.

  • Personally, I think they want the DVD sales to fail. This would justify a future executive decision not to make a sequel. They’re deliberately hindering their own success. Idiots!

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