Long Live Convergence…

cimg5032.JPGAt its most basic level, the convergence culture about which Henry Jenkins writes depends on marketing and the market interaction between producers and consumers. Of course, his intention is to explore this relationship to much deeper, more significant ends; however, his study has to begin with marketing, and it does, in a way, with his discussions of Survivor and American Idol. Yet Jenkins would be the first to argue that this branch of convergence culture did not begin with the internet or cell phones.

I have recently been working on a promotional DVD for a professor’s collection of Biblical film posters and memorabilia. Along with a vast collection of original posters, the collection contains lobby cards, film stills, and press books. The press books are absolutely priceless for their descriptions of marketing strategies and product tie-ins. Here are some images from the pressbooks for two classic Biblical epics, Quo Vadis and Solomon and Sheba. Pay close attention for the suggestion that a group of fraternity brothers, or other mad-cap groups, steal the cardboard cutout of Gina Lollobrigida to increase the popularity of the film.


Cover of Quo Vadis pressbook.


Add campaign for Quo Vadis referencing the burning of Rome. At least it’s not for the product below. Put a little fire in your pants with…


Quo Vadis nightwear for men…


Poor kid…


Cover of Solomon and Sheba pressbook…


Gina Lollobrigida cardboard cutout. Fraternity brothers were instructed to steal “her” to increase the popularity of the film.

Hairdressers were encouraged to imitate the “Sheba Look” for their customers.


A list of possible advertising actions to increase the buzz around the film.