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Merchandising goes back to basic black

June 05, 2005|Mark Olsen

Capturing attention in a stunt-filled media world isn't easy. Thus, swag: eye-catching items that pit promoters' imaginations against seen-it-all recipients.

This week's winner: "Batman Begins" -- in a can.

The item: A package of unknown provenance arrives. Arising from a snowy cascade of plastic packing peanuts is a can of black spray paint, wrapped with the movie's logo and title. Hanging from the neck of the can, like one of Alice's enigmatic "Eat Me/Drink Me" signs, is an imprinted card.

The tag line: "Does it come in black?"

The mood: Ominous, with a touch of urban edge, matching images and dialogue from the trailer and teaser spot for the film, which opens June 15, a hoped-for revitalization of the Batman franchise by director Christopher Nolan and screenwriter David S. Goyer.

The message: Out with the Day-Glo, irony-soaked freak shows of the Joel Schumacher era, in with a streetwise, gritty, back-to-basics vision. Here's hoping the movie they're selling is the one we get.

-- Mark Olsen

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