• First StepsWhen analysing a poster, you should consider the following broad questions before you start to focus
on the details:
What are the main colours used in the poster and what do they connote?
• What symbols are used in the poster? Do you need audience foreknowledge to decode the symbols?
• What are the main figures/objects/background of the poster? Are they represented
photographically, graphically, or illustratively?
• Are the messages in the poster primarily visual, verbal, or both?
• Who do you think is the intended audience for the poster?
• Given that all movie posters have the same purpose - to get audiences to go see a movie - what persuasive
techniques are used by the poster?
• Which genre conventions are referred to?
• Is a star used as a USP (unique selling point)?
• Are "expert witnesses" (ie critics) quoted?
• What pleasures (gratifications) are promised by the poster?
• How is attention gained (humour, shock, surprise)?
• How does the tagline work? (humour, pun, alliteration etc?)
• Production Constraints
The poster can also give you important information about the production context of the movie:
How much does the poster tell you about the institutional context of the movie's production?
• How important is this information on the poster (think about information hierarchies)?
• How important a part of the whole marketing campaign is the poster? Where is the poster placed?
• How expensive was this poster to produce?
Finally, you have to pass judgement on the poster.
Is it an effective poster? Why?
• Does it communicate effectively with the audience?
• Are there any alternative readings which might harm the message of the marketing campaign?
• Is the poster offensive in any way?
On the mans forearm there is a set of number that are in an
electronic setting, this connotes to the audience that this film is
going to include some type of SI-FI nature to it. This will attract a
large number of si-fi fans. The set of electronic number on the
mans forearm also give the audience a original question to
ask, what are those number on his arm?. This question can
obviously only be answered if the audience go and watch the
film. The numbers on the mans arm also grabs the audiences
attention and attracts them to the poster originally.
There is a clear relationship between these two characters as
they are holding each other in a romantic fashion. This
relationship is also shown by the eye contact the couple are
making which suggests hat they are a new couple who have only
recently fallen in love etc. This relationship raises questions
about each character individually, this poster also shows the two
main “good” character in the film, this introduction of the main
characters before the film has even been released creates a
relationship between the audience and the characters, this is
important for the rest of the film when the characters are in
trouble physically or emotionally; sympathy and emotion will
therefore be shown from the audience due to the relationship
they told from this poster. The relationship between these two
characters is also obviously the main idea of the film and it the
main narrative, this is shown due to the fact that they have the
majority of the space on the poster
There is obviously a gun in the middle of the couple which is
primarily pointed at the man. Gun are seen as dangerous and a
sign of conflict and war, this gun could show the original conflict
between these two characters. The idea of the female pointing the
gun and the male is a opposite idea from the two holding each
other romantically. This leads to question why there is a gun in
between them and what the gun is being used for, conflict
between them? Conflict between them and someone else?. This
gives the audience a excised reaction to see what the gun will be
used for and if it takes either of the two characters in the posters
In between the two characters there is a city in the background. The fact
that the females is on one side of the city and the male is on the other could
suggest to the audience that these two are from different ends of the
city, the idea of two people being on the other end of the town and meeting
to fall in love is very romantic and appeals to a wide range of audiences who
enjoy romantic stories. The city in the background could also show a main
part of the film, this could simply be an introduction to the setting of the
The poster gives a lot of information about the
film and its characters/ settings. This gives the
audience gratification and makes them feel
comfortable in going to see the film because they
know what to expect In a sense. The audience are
also going to try decode the poster by watching
the film. All the factors in the posters which
creates questions and hints lead to the audience
wanting to go and see the film to answer there
questions and to be gratified.
Underneath the main pictures of the characters in the posters
there are the actor names, the actor names are important to
again make the audience comfortable with watching the film
were they recognise or know the name of the actor, this gives
them reassurance that the film will be acted as well as other
films were the actors have been in. The poster also shows the
actors names to show that this is a high budget, high end film
that can employ these expensive and highly rated stars. The
names of the characters also give the audience another
reason why to go and see the film.
A lot of the information in this poster is given with images both
photographically and computer generates images are used to
give the audience clues and ideas to what the films about. The
poster aims to keep people guessing to what the film is about
and how it unravels to amaze , surprise and tense them up; all of
which are expected in modern film in the 21st century.
This poster gives away some key information about the film, but not enough so that they don’t go and watch the film. It
gives the audiences enough information to be excised about the film. The information the poster also gives across is to
attract the right target audience, obviously this poster can attract many different types of audience, action, romantic, si-
fi and drama. The poster is made cleverly to keep the audience asking question and to get to a point were the audience
is in dire need to know the answers. Although this poster is not expensive as it is simple green screen behind a photo-
shoot, it is well formatted and laid out to grab the audiences attention through the necessary factors, for example the
gun and the electronic numbers on the names forearm. I believe this poster is highly effective due to the message it
gives to the audience with keeping some key secrets for the viewing.
The movie title is given at the bottom of the film
poster, next to the movie stars names. Ones the audience
have been interested by the high end movie star names
they are ten told the film title. The film title will then stay
in the mind of the audience and they will look out for it
and remember the title to go and see it when it is released.
The title “In Time” connotes the idea of a rush for time or a
target which must be accomplished in a time frame. The
title it self makes the audience ask questions about the
film. The title is also in a white bold font which stands out
to the audience on a black background, these two colours
being opposites it catches the audiences eye because of
the opposites clashing. The audience noticing the is clash
will also notice the name of the film, this film name must
stay in the audiences minds to remind them to go and see
the film which they had been impacted on by the film
There is a dominant colours which surrounds the
whole poster, a light blue covers the skin of the
character and the space around them, this grey
colour could connote the dark times that the
couple are stuck in or the dangerous and bad
situation they are in that they must escape.
The poster has a picture of
three men standing, these
three men are the main
characters in the film and
therefore are established
in the film poster to
introduce them to the
audience. This give the
audience a clue to who the
main cast are in the film.
The background of the three men is
bright lights which are high intensity, the
light resemble city night life lights which
flood the air. This background gives the
audience an idea of a setting for the
movie being a large party city, such as
In the poster there are a few strange and unlikely things. For example one of the
men has a baby wearing sun glasses and a hat, it is quite unusual for a baby to wear
sun glasses, this brings humour and question to why the baby is wearing sun
glasses. A similar pair of sun glasses is being worn by the man carrying the
baby, this could suggest some type of relationship between the baby and the man
carrying the baby.
The title to the movie is at the bottom “The Hangover” a
hangover is something that society dreads and is a pain
after alcohol. Similarly the title gives a good indication
about what the film is about and gives away a rough idea
of the overall plot of men having to much to drink and
waking up in strange circumstances ( a random baby and
a tooth missing). The title is created so that it is easily
seen and remembered due to the odd title being
something that the audience most likely don’t enjoy. The
audience may also relate with the characters as they may
of two ones had a hangover.
Since the humour that has come from the poster it Is quite clear that the genre of
this film is a comedy. Comedy can attract a wide range of audiences and can be
enjoyed my many ages etc.. Therefore the unusual funny aspects of the poster all
contribute to attracting a well rounded audience.
At the top of the poster there is a small sentence which say “from
the director of old school”. This is advertising the fact that this is a
film made by an experienced director, it aims to hook member of
the audience who have seen the directors easier films and to tell
them that this film will be a similar standard to the film which was
last made by the same director. The audience trust the name of
the director to delivery a safe film that will be as enjoyable as the
last. The reputation of actors and directors always attracts earlier/
similar audiences to larger box office numbers.
The poster attracts the audiences attention by the
humour that the poster gives. The poster shows funny
images such as a baby in sun glasses which attracts the
audience attention, if the audience find the photo funny
they will remember it and expect the film to also be
funny with the same type of humour. The audience then
go along to see the movie to gain pleasure in laughter.
There is a tag line at the top of the poster which gives the
audience a main hint about the narrative of the film “some
guys just cant handle Vegas” this suggest that the guys went
to Vegas and had bad situation arise on them as a result. This
confirms the setting that the audience get from the
background of the poster ( bright lights).This tag line suggest
that a lot happen and this leads t the audience questioning
what else happened or why they went to Vegas, t therefore
they will go and see the film to pleasure them self's in finding
out the answers to their questions.
The poster mainly uses humour
to grab the attention through
visual pictures, these visual
pictures can be interpreted in
the audiences own way which
why it is useful in attracting large
range of audiences.
The bottom of the poster is
bold writing here are the
names of the reproduction
companies and the film star in
the film. This gives the
audience trust in the fact that
they have used these
institutions before and know
that they are good. Media
reputation can go a long way
and audiences are more likely
to go to films with people they
recognise in them due to the
fact that they know that the
standard of film that they
were last in will be similar to
This poster would be relatively expensive to make due to the amount of detail that has been
put into it, for example all the main character being shown and various humours factors on
show. Also the hours of editing that has gone into ensuring the background looks suitable and
connotes the correct setting. There are also props in this poster which may be relatively
expensive for example the baby.
The picture at the front of the movie poster is
of two men. There is a strong connotation of
conflict between these two men since they are
facing away from each other, this gives the
audience information that the film consists of a
lot of conflict between these two character and
the people with these characters.
This is reinstated by the smaller picture below
them which shows two lines of men, one line
wearing white and the other wearing black.
These are similar colours to the men in the main
The men's facial expressions on the front of the
film poster also give indication on what the
characters ( and his group) are like. The man on
the right with the guards uniform has a angry
and disturbed look on his face which connotes
that he is trouble in the movie, the compared
with the more innocent and confused look on
the other mans face gives the audience reason
to prefer he man on the left because he is more
submissive with the violence.
Behind the two men there is some bars (similar
to prison bars). These bars show the audience
that in this film it is based in a prison or around
Therefore from the front of the movie poster
the audience has gained a lot of information
about the plot- There are two groups of men in
a prison where some are guards and some are
inmates, the whole situation is a experiment
and there are a lot of things that happen in the
movie that will “keep you guessing” as is said on
the front of the film poster.
The black and dark clothing of the guards
represents evil, destructive and violent.
The white clothing which the inmates
are wearing gives the connotation of
innocence and peacekeeping. This
representation is two give the audience
an entail thoughts of the characters
before they watch the film
The dark colour of the prison like
background gives the connotation that
the prison is not a nice paly an is home
to many dishonest and unmoral
things. The prison is represented to be
a dark evil place which is not a normal
When society sees connotations of prison they think of
being trapped and not being able to leave, this gives
more information to the audience that the inmates
cannot leave for one reason or another.
The title called the experiment basically describes the
main narrative of the film being about an experiment. In
the title the “X” in Experiment is enlarged to suggest the
danger and caution that tis usually associated with an
“X”. This connotes to the audience that the experiment is
highly danger and does not go as planned.
The critics quote at the bottom gives the audience
a good reason to go and see if it there have been
strong review on it. The quote also gives the
audience an idea on if they’ll like it being that this
film will “keep you guessing” this gives the
audience an active involvement in the film
because they will be many questions asked during
the film that can only be answered if they
continue to watch the movie and gain gratification
from eventually.Audience are attracted to the movie from
this poster due to the quotes and large and
deviant looking title which gives the
audience the indication that the film is not
as that it seems.
The main colours in the poster and dark
purple, black and grey. These colours
connote evil, Villain and danger to the
audience therefore they get a idea of how
this character will act in the film of “the dark
knight”. This is then likely to spark there
attention with going to see the film to see
how this character causes destruction and
how he is then stopped.
The man in the poster ( The Joker)
is at a slant, this connotes that he
is unusual, at a difference, not a
straight character. This reinstates
the audiences idea of this
character as being “not a good
There are lots of ashes and sparks flying around
the man in the poster, tis connotes that he is the
one who is responsible for the destruction in the
poster and that he is comfortable in the
surroundings because of his usual behaviour as
being the villain.
The poster grabs the attention of the
viewer with the darkness and the
disturbing evil that the poster has, the
poster shows the villain instead of the hero
which inclines that in the film , the villain
has the upper hand and the power.
Questions are going to be asked by the
audience, to answer the questions they
must watch the film.
There is a bright light behind the villain
, this could represent “good” or
“innocence” , in the poster the man is
turned away from this light, this connotes
that the man is not “good and innocent”
and instead is the opposite with walking
away from the light and into the darkness.
All of these message are being picked up by
the audience and a opinion of the man in
the poster is being made before the movie
is even released. This sets a tone for the
film before its even out with the audience
already having primary information about
some of the characters.
There is a strong connotation of the poster that this man is
the “villain” in the film, as well as many colour and stance
factors there is also the destruction around him which
connotes that he is in a natural environment and that this is
his usually environment
There are other cast names at the top of the film poster which
shows the audience what other characters are in the film, it
give the audience other reasons to be attracted to the film
and to go and see it. If they see an actor that they recognise
and know to be a good actor then they are more likely to go
and see the film.
When the audience see the villain in this surrounding of
destruction they see that he is ultimately to blame for
this, the audience will then want to see how and why
he caused this and who and how someone is going to
stop him, as well as these various questions are going
to be needed to be answered by the audience, for the
audience to find the answers they are going to have to
watch the movie, when they do they will be gratified by
watching the film and finding out the answers to the
questions they get from this poster.
The dark knight logo is a
bat, behind the bat
there is a bright light
that bleeds through the
edges, this gives the
connotation that behind
the dark exterior of the
batman there is a light
soul that will defeat and
This poster shows the main characters in a
detailed and emotional way, the poster shows
him with dirty clothes and blood on his
face, this instantly connotes violence and a
“hard man” attitude to the audience. He also
has a gun strap on his shoulder which gives the
impression of war and anger.
The character is also in front of a state building
which suggests he is employed by the
government to do various mission. This gives
the audience the impression that he is in the
FBI or police of some kind. This tells the
audience that he is a legitimate authority
figure that works for the state not against
them; this basically classes him and being a
“good guy” that the audience are subject to
like due to him fighting the “bad guys”.
From below the main characters there are
sparks coming from underneath him. This
suggests that there is fire, explosions or heat
coming from underneath him, this often
suggest danger and near death which gives
the connotation that this characters live life
on the edge.
Below the title of the film there is a
release date, this keeps the audience in
quick knowledge about the name and
date of the film which are the two main
things they need to go and see the film.
The audience for this poster will be
young males due to the clear action
As well as the poster showing a lot of hints
towards action content which will attract eh
audience, there is also questions raised
from this poster that can only be answered
if they audience go and watch the film.
These questions will stay with the audience
until they watch the film to find out the
answers, when they find out the answers
this will gratify them and they will relate
this gratification with the movie thus giving
the film a positive impression.
The main picture of this poster takes up the whole of the
poster. The picture is of the moon as night and a person
riding a bike in the sky with a large object in the front basket.
There are firstly questions raised for the audience to think
about such as “what's in the basket”, “how is the bike flying”
and “who is riding the bike”. All of these questions are things
that the audience can find out the answers to if they go and
watch the film. When the audience go and see the film and
find out the answers they will be gratified from knowing the
answers and relate hat positive feeling for the film, thus
giving the film a good name.
The title of the film and the fact that there is a large moon
in the poster gives the impression that the film has relation
to space or aliens of some kind, this is obviously a “believe
or not believe” matter which would intrigue the audience
to find out more. The audience will want to go and watch
the movie to see how the film is showing this controversial
subject through cinema. Because the idea and aspect of
aliens is extremely strange the audience will want to see
how the film shows aliens and how they come across in the
movie whether is be evil or good.
At the bottom of the poster there are various
intuitional and actor references which the
audience can look at and see if they notice any
actors that they have heard of or seen before.
This gives the audience a feel of reassurance is
they see an actor or institution that they know
has a good reputation, this makes the audience
more likely to watch the film.
The audience attention is gained with the
surprise of a bike flying, this is obviously
imposable therefore grabs the readers
attention because it is not a sight that they
would usually see.
Since there is no obvious sign of horror or
action I believe that this film is targeted
towards family's due to the innocent nature is
has. The poster does not connote anything that
would give the impression of anything that any
age group would be offended or disturbed by.
Therefore I believe that this film is suitable for
all age groups.
With film that have aliens and other fiction factors
in them it is often said that the main convention and
attraction to he movie is not knowing many answers
to many questions, the main attraction to this film is
that there are many questions that have not being
This poster would have been relatively
cheap to make because of the simple
task of taking a photo and then
cropping a silo wet of a bike into the