AdAge asked, “Would you watch a 13 minute infomercial for ‘The Dark Knight Rises?'”

They asked the wrong question.

The real question is, “What could Warner Bros have done for their marketing with a 13 minute infomercial?”  And the answer is, “Anything would have been better than the nothing they did.”

There is a schism between the two camps of advertising: brand and demand generation. The brand folks deal in TV, spectacle, cool visuals that drive appetite. The demand gen folks quietly drive revenue. When the demand gen folks get in a room, any channel is fair game – but they do tend to think in terms of action. Not so for the brand folks – they seem to forget that there could possibly be a benefit to the less spectacular forms of marketing at their disposal. They are content to drive perception without taking it to the next level.

I would love to have seen Nolan’s infomercial display a “Share this on Facebook” or “Send to a friend” button at the end. After all, aren’t the fans – and influencers – the ones watching 13 minutes of self-congratulations? Don’t you want them thinking about which friends they’ll see the movie with opening night?