Here is the 1959 Pressbook for Godzilla's second Americanized feature, GIGANTIS THE FIRE MONSTER. We all know that in reality, it was Godzilla's first meeting with Angilas (or Anguirus, if you are so inclined), but for the picture, the monsters were renamed to Gigantis and Angurus. A superb woodcut-themed art campaign was crafted for WB's striking posters and ads, which you can see in the following pages:
You will notice the mention of "teaser" ads; apparently somebody at Warner Bros. thought highly enough of their investment that they did a rare thing, at least for Godzilla movies: they issued a "teaser" poster....today, this is business as usual, of course, for any "special effects" film (read: "CGI cartoon").
Unfortunately, in many areas, GIGANTIS was lumped into a double-feature with the lackluster TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE. Wikipedia says that in some places, the second film was actually RODAN, which would have been the way to go!
But, what's this? A coloring contest! Here is a better photo:
Feel free to print out and color...no prizes here, though, just the guaranteed feeling of accomplishment (patent pending).
Also notice special mention of the TEASER TRAILER (which, also today, is a common practice). On the YouTubes, the full trailer and at least one TV spot are also easy to find. At some point, I've seen an original combination ad that included TEENAGERS, which I thought was a TV spot, but it ran longer than the 20-second time mentioned above, so I will have to locate it and watch it again.
As for radio ads, an LP of them appeared on Ebay within the last year or so...it seems like the opening bid was set too high, and it didn't sell, if I remember right.
The above page shows some combo ads, and the posters that were available (but not the "teaser" though...interestingly enough).
Here are sample ads for theater owners to buy newspaper space and use. Imagine reading your breakfast paper, and amidst real news about Nikita Khruschev or the Space Race, you see this:
And now, the best part of any pressbook, "EXPLOITATION!"
Some of this is a little familiar...see my articles on other Godzilla pressbooks, (especially GHIDRAH). Let's look at some of it more closely:
This is very much like suggestions we have seen before, on this blog, but let me spell it out for you:
Warner Brothers wants you to ask your "local armory" (you know, the one by the 7-11) for a flame thrower. Or a bazooka.
After all, you can just "strap them on lobby board" (whatever that means), "behind roped-off area." I mean, that way the public can't handle your flame thrower.
|Robbed a bank? Stole a house full of furniture? No, "tried to promote his local theater's showing of GIGANTIS"|
My favorite in the above photo is "Promote smashed auto from wrecking service." I'm just going to let that sink in for a moment. As if that were even possible, why not let the rest of the town gather around the wreckage of Patricia's uncle's car...you know, the one killed by the drunk driver? Look! Now it's got a funny sign on it! It says "SMASHED BY GIGANTIS!" Ha! That's hilarious!
By the way, was the theater-owner really supposed to "display" the crumbling wreckage of a destroyed automobile in front of the theater? (To say nothing of the safety of his patrons.) Surely not in the lobby, either? I feel like nobody in the "Exploitation" department thought any of this through...
But wait, there's more:
Invite your "Civil Defense" people to come and sit in the lobby of your theater for a few days. That's better than anything they are doing, right?
Also, arrange for "local shops" to have GIGANTIS sales, and you will need to include BIG bargains (get it? because GIGANTIS is big?) and LOW prices (which obviously makes sense, because.....wait, what is that supposed to refer to?)
Today, we would say you should look for these people are "in basements," but I will submit to you that, in the 1950's, "Mouseketeers" were a thing, but "Science Fictioneers" was most certainly not. Here I am, harassing my newspaper's science editor on a daily basis, and spending hours combing through all of my local mailing lists, and all because of your made-up words! You insult my intelligence, Warner Brothers "Exploitation" Department!