The Absurd Sells: Film Studio A24 Releases a Book Of Wacky Movie Promo Merch

Posted inDesign News

The years between 1975 and 2005 are considered the “boom-era” of movie promo, with studios releasing ridiculous merch and swag to drum up excitement for the blockbusters (and the not-so blockbusters) of their time.

To celebrate this spell of cinematic history, the cinephiles at the studio A24 (The Green KnightMidsommarLady Bird, Moonlight, etc.) released For Promotional Use Only, a comprehensive coffee table book chronicling over 160 artifacts of zany Hollywood marketing.

Such artifacts include a Godzilla flashlight, a Twister necktie, a purple satin jacket with The Color Purple embroidered onto the back, a Stepford Wives frisbee, and a set of eerie wooden nesting dolls featuring portraits of characters from the Spike Jonze movie Being John Malkovich.

Along with glossy spreads of photos, the 8.5”x11”, the 236-page book comes with an essay from culture critic Lindsay Zoladz, an oral history by Caroline Golum, an interview with the visionary behind the Jaws promotional beach bag, Steve Ellman, and a foreword by the king of camp, Roger Corman.

In conjunction with the book’s release, A24 is running a charity auction benefiting the Vidiots Foundation, an alternative video store in LA that hosts screenings and educational programs), where many of the items included in its pages will also be offered. The auction is hosted in partnership with a Twitter account dedicated to chronicling goofy, old-school movie merch called @NightPromoting.

Some of the Tinseltown tokens up for grabs are a Parent Trap fanny pack, a Sixth Sense knockoff Magic 8 ball, and a Wayne’s World plastic cup. To which we say: Party tiiiime. Excellent.