I love San Diego Comic Con.
Like just about everyone in this business, my address is well known to FedEx, UPS and DHL, and in the weeks leading up to SDCC, I feel like the delivery people are my extended family, because I see them so often. Usually, it’s just the latest comic that a publisher wants hyped (for the record, DC sends individual issues in manila envelopes via UPS that are not weatherproof and it’s been raining here lately – mangled, wet copy of North 40, anyone?), a box of comics, or sometimes more, and sometimes…well, there was one time a publisher sent a cigar box loaded full of little chatchkis to promote an upcoming book, including a small vial of white power. Yeah – that was neat. In any event, pretty soon I’m going to start offering them coffee and asking them how their kids are.
Case in point – today, my poor beleaguered FedEx Ground delivery person dropped off this box:
It’s from Focus Features, and includes:
A messenger bag to promote the upcoming movie 9.
A Cliff Bar (mine was Blueberry Crisp)
A Function: Urban Detox drink (developed by physicians…who develop sugar water, apparently, and believe in “detox” from unnamed “toxins.”)
A copy of 944 Magazine (San Diego edition)
A box of Emergen-C (Lemon Lime) Vitamin C packets
The cash equivalents: a $10 card for Dave and Busters, a $10 Off card for Lone Star Comics and a $5 Gift card for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
And of course, a couple of cards and one sheet promoting Focus Features and their SDCC panels.
Total retail of the box of goodies from Focus Features? By my calculation, about 55 bucks (of course, your mileage may vary).
What’s my point? No, it’s not that it’s cool to be me – that’s not Newsarama’s game. It’s just…well, I know I’m not the only one on the Focus Features list. In fact, I’d bet that I’m near the bottom of something well over a hundred. That’s a lot of coin Focus is putting out to send goody bags/boxes to the press (even when you figure their cost is probably about half or less of retail). Does it influence coverage? Hard to say, especially here, as we’re still finalizing coverage schedules. Is that what Focus was looking to do? Or did they just have money and wanted to make friends? Yes, I know the answer to that last one. And also, I know this is normal, standard operating procedure for studios, publishers and many other companies. This is just the biggest one that’s hit the office in a good long while.
I guess in the end, I have no point, and I certainly don’t mean this as an indictment of the forthcoming glowing press Focus’ films receive at SDCC written by folks who still have Cliff Bar remains stuck in their teeth. I guess I just wanted to pull the curtain back a little and do a touch of “A Day in the Life: It’s Not As Glamorous as You May Think.”
Oh, and don’t get me started on receiving a single Image book in a box from Diamond that was 1’ x 2’ x 1’….