The Moss Covered, Three Handled Family Gredunza

Promotional Material and Advertising: Better than the real product?

Advertising is a funny business. It is both simply a tangent to the main product and an unfortunate side effect of free market capitalism, and many wish that it would simply go away (such as the city of Sao Paulo, which recently removed all advertising from its public sector). On the other hand, advertising is a curious medium that can create a sense of satisfaction and joy that can equal and sometimes surpass the product it advertises. We all know the strange joy that comes when we’ve been served a particularly sharp-witted ad, especially when it has nothing to do with our feelings toward the product. Wrestling fans know this feeling all too well. There isn’t an organization or company out there who produces more advertising for its programming than professional wrestling. Promotional videos preclude almost every single segment of programming, often followed by wrestlers “cutting promos.” More than 60% of the average wrestling program is made up of interviews and supplementary material with the singular purpose of advertising a future match. There are few audiences who sit through more ads than we do.

Stephen Colbert has this segment on his show about movies, where he will talk about a slew of releases and why they are generally not worth seeing. His ethos is simple: he doesn’t watch movies, but he watches trailers. This philosophy would have come in handy for anyone who decided to see a blockbuster film this summer. I would imagine most people would remember last summer, when the barrage of trailers that included Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Spiderman 3, Live Free or Die Hard, and Transformers. I remember enjoying the trailers for all of these films just as much as I remember being hugely disappointed by the full feature. The lesson here is not that advertising has become so good that it can sell us mediocre products, but much simpler. Advertising has become good. It’s become so good that in some areas, it has surpassed the quality of the product. Make no mistake; professional wrestling has been subject to the same treatment.

If there is one thing that the usually-jaded internet wrestling community universally agrees on is WWE’s (and to a lesser extent, TNA’s) promotional materials. Read any embittered commentary on the poor state of wrestling these days, and you will likely stumble upon a tossed off line at the beginning complimenting the always-stellar production work. Ever since the New World Order vignettes skyrockets the creative possibilities of advertising in wrestling, we have been fed a stream of increasingly stunning promotional material. Whether it be the WWE “desire” videos of 2001-02, or TNA’s run of “inspiring” pay per view opening videos in 2005, or the always impressive main-event music videos that preclude most main events on Sunday nights, there is no more undervalued group of people than WWE’s and TNA’s production teams. www.ksawyerpaul.com

The moss covered, three-handled family gredunza is the third of Chris Jericho’s 1004 moves, preceeded by an armdrag and armbar, and to be followed by an armbar and the Saskatchewan spinning nerve hold. It is a reference to the Cat in the Hat’s TV special.

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