Film Theory: Is The Emoji Movie ILLEGAL? (feat. Jacksfilms)

Film Theory: Is The Emoji Movie ILLEGAL? (feat. Jacksfilms)

“The Emoji Movie”… “A work so completely devoid of wit, style, intelligence or basic entertainment value that it makes that movie based on the Angry Birds app seem like a pure artistic statement by comparison.” – Roger “‘The Emoji Movie’ is so bad, it makes us want to yell at strangers on the street…” “I don’t think I can say anything funny about this, because it makes me want to die.” – The Verge “Make no mistake, ‘The Emoji Movie’ is very, very, very bad.” – IndieWire [Mat] So bad, It should be illegal. Oh wait, it actually IS illegal. That quote’s from me, and I’m going to prove to you why today! [FILM THEORY INTRO PLAYS] Hello Internet! Welcome to Film Theory! A show best represented by the sad clown emoji. You see? He’s sad because he lost custody of his kids. That’s the way this show makes you feel. Like a lonely, lonely crying clown. [Aww, poor clown 🤡] [CLOWN HORN] Speaking of things that’ll make you depressed, “The Emoji Movie”! The worst reviewed movie of 2017, And the 30th most successful movie of 2017 at the box office this year. Raking in over 85 million dollars so far… Cue the ‘Make It Rain’ emoji. Just goes to show you that if you talk about something enough it just grows stronger. Is there a Trump emoji that I could show here? Seems pertinent… Anyway, There’s no denying that this tale of an emoji who just can’t quite fit in, was a bad movie: Lame, lazy, formulaic… That much is *CLEAR* But the question I’m posing to you today is whether “The Emoji Movie” should’ve been deemed illegal. And I’m not click baiting you or anything, I am legitimately asking the question, Of whether “The Emoji Movie” breaks legal requirements put in place by the government to protect viewers from the evil scourge that’s savagely deflowering the good ol’ USA: Sponsored content, Or, to use the official term, Embedded advertising. Now obviously over my six years of being on YouTube, I have done my fair share of sponsored videos. Be it an end slate promoting a product like Dollar Shave Club, Or a full-on episode dedicated to a theory I’ve crafted for a specific movie, TV show, or game; Like the recent DuckTales episode over here on Film Theory. And here’s the thing, Sponsorships are essential for helping to supplement the income of channels. And for me, It insures that I’m able to help pay the team of researchers and editors, Who help me produce Game Theory and Film Theory every week, Since at this point, that’s what Youtube demands for channels to stay relevant, But regardless in the process of doing those promotional segments, I’ve had to become intimately familiar with the proper way of disclosing different styles of branded partnerships, because there are very strict guidelines hor how you make an audience aware that those are ads. You see, in the US We have the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, and the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC Who come up with the rules that anyone who produces a piece of content has to follow In order to ensure that the audience is able to tell that the brand paid to be there. And it doesn’t even have to be payment, Even if they provided free goods, or some other consideration like cross-promotion, Ya’ still gotta make audience members aware of that sort of thing. The underlying rationale here is that, if I sip a Diet Coke and say, “Mmmmm, man that is a crisp clean taste!’ But Diet Coke paid for that placement I might just be saying it because they told me to But if I say it and promote it across six years worth of videos, And they didn’t pay for any of that, Well, You can just assume that I’m an addict, Because I am. Me disclosing that they partnered with me before the ad run Allows you as the audience to be a bit more critical of the promotion, And there are government protections in place to ensure that you as the viewer aren’t being tricked or misled. But then I went to see “The Emoji Movie,” and, let me be clear, it was for research purposes only! And I promptly watched puppies playing with kittens to serve as eye bleach afterwards And watching the movie, I couldn’t help but be dumbfounded by the number of blatant product integrations that were happening Without any sort of disclosure! Things that were I to do them would immediately get my video flagged and fined by the FTC, prompting a swarm of “angry judge emoji”, followed by “years of jail time emoji,” And “tons of money flying away emoji.” So today, I’m analyzing the product integrations in the movie to prove that they’re actually breaking FTC and FCC requirements to determine whether the movie that’s so bad it’s bad, is also bad from a legal standpoint, too. Anytime you see a brand appear anywhere, Like how everyone in “Twilight” mysteriously drives Volvo’s, Or how James Bond banded his [Bond] change to [Mat] martinis in exchange for a bright green Heineken bottle, it falls under the classification of embedded advertising. The term embedded advertising basically covers two things: Product placements and product integrations. In product placement the product pays a fee or offers some other consideration and gets their brand logo or product into the movie. Their product then basically becomes a prop like Reese’s Pieces in “ET” or those seamlessly integrated Dunkin’ Donuts cups on America’s Got Talent or literally once every 10 frames in any Transformers movie. It’s meant to seem like an accident, like “oh look these things exist in the real world and they just so happen to show up in the scene” [movie quote] you like music? the pill [Mat] But, of course, it’s not an accident In fact Reese’s paid for each of those Pieces Spending 1 million dollars to help promote the movie to be included in that iconic scene from ET So that’s option 1: product placement. Option 2 is product integration: where the brand is actively Incorporated into the story or dialogue. Take, for instance one, of my favorite examples: Snapple appearing in 30 Rock where they talk directly about the benefits of Snapple [woman] We’re not doing that. We’re not compromising the integrity of the show to sell- [man] Oh, this is Diet Snapple [blonde woman] I only date guys who drink Snapple [man 2] You all love Snapple but Lord knows I do [Mat] or Little Nicky using Popeye’s chicken to save the earth from demons or in this iconic moment that’s close to a lot of our hearts [boy] I Love the power glove It’s so big [Mat] and again if the brand doesn’t pay to be there It doesn’t count. Like me saying how much I still love drinking Diet Coke, lonely, unsponsored, rejected by the sweet, sweet Cola company of my dreams, Diet Coke. So now we turn back to “The Emoji Movie” and one of the biggest, most glaring examples of embedded advertising in the film: everyone’s grandma’s favorite mobile game, Candy Crush Let’s look at the scene a little bit closer to see what the FTC and FCC have to say about whether this merits a sponsorship disclosure. At the beginning you can clearly see the Candy Crush logo, which means we’ve already definitely crossed into product placement territory But then the movie directly says the name of the app [movie narrator] Candy Crush [Mat] and the characters directly talk about the functionality of the game [Jailbreak] And we can’t match him with any yellows or else *popping noise* [Gene] *screams* Don’t do that [Mat] Then after that the emoji character literally has to win the game to forward the plot of the movie This clearly falls under category two: product integration We also know that none of this was an accident King (the company who owns Candy Crush) very publicly teamed up with “The Emoji Movie” to do one of the biggest cross-promotions in the game’s history, even creating special Emoji Movie levels in the game to promote the film So what does the FTC guidelines have to say about integrations like this? First, You need to disclose everything up front. To quote directly from the FTC guidelines, “An endorsement would be covered by the FTC act if an advertiser or someone working for an Advertiser pays you or gives you something of value to mention a product” If you receive free products or other perks with the expectation that you’ll promote or discuss the advertiser’s products, you must disclose This is literally on the front page of the FTC disclosure site So how did “The Emoji Movie” miss this? Remember, it doesn’t even say they have to like the product. If it appears, if you mention it, it counts and needs disclosure But who knows, maybe they did disclose, maybe they did it in the movie credits; those things go on forever So it must be in there somewhere right? Right? Oh look there it is: in that giant block of text five minutes into the credits But that’s not gonna cut it in the eyes of the FTC. They emphasize over and over again in their rules and FAQ that disclosures need to be clear, hard to miss and accurately represent the relationship between the video and the brand it has to be quote “in unambiguous language,” [Mat paraphrasing] And whoever makes the video has to make it stand out. The font has to be readable it has to stand out from the background And it shouldn’t be hidden in footnotes or blocks of text or put in places people aren’t likely to read Say, for instance, the closing credits of a movie. They even explicitly say to avoid the end of a piece of content again another quote from FTC guidelines Quote “it’s more likely that a disclosure at the end of a video will be missed, especially if someone doesn’t watch the whole thing” “Having it at the beginning would be better having multiple disclosures during the video would be even better” Nope, sorry, FTC, you just get a handful of “courtesy by” mixed into a wall of text an hour after that embedded advertising happened and Remember that whole “accurately represent the relationship between video and brand bit”? Yeah, well something tells me that the relationship between King and Sony Pictures looked a whole lot different than the relationship between Rosanna Pansino and Sony Pictures But all of it apparently is the same “courtesy of.” That doesn’t even imply that any sort of payment or promotional Consideration changed hands, but we all know it did so that is not an accurate descriptor based on the FTC guidelines And I have to tell you that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to integrations in this movie. The ENTIRE MOVIE is hopping from one embedded ad to the next – Twitter to YouTube to Spotify to Instagram to Facebook. Millions of moviegoers were literally tricked into paying money to watch an hour and 31 minutes of commercials, you guys. I wish I were joking. And the exact same disclosure rule should apply to each of those, but especially the other two biggest product integrations in this movie: Dropbox and Just Dance. And if you thought Candy Crush was bad, these two are even worse. In the scene for Just Dance now, it’s not just that the characters are Just Dancing, they’re actually endorsing the product. They start by literally explaining the rules of the game – “Follow my moves, “and you get to move forward! Do the wrong moves, and you get an X.” – then sell the product as an app made for everyone – “Come on, “everybody can dance!” – then they make positive comments about using the app for the rest of this excruciatingly long scene. Oh Really you love it just language like that matter to the FTC. Oh you bet it does. There’s a line of the FTC guidelines Specifically about implicit endorsements of products here it is simply posting a picture of a product or a video of you using it could convey that you like and approve of the Product if it does it’s an endorsement you don’t necessarily have to use words to convey a positive message Yeah, you could do things like smile use nonverbal sounds like whoa or show that you can use the product Well if you do any one of those things the FTC is expecting you to be doing some disclosing It’s even more blatant for Dropbox and let’s be honest here Dropbox I can just see six-year-old Timmy sitting there in the theater being like oh, thank goodness There’s finally a secure solution for my file Transfer needs then he digs a booger out of his nose and uses it to garnish his snow cap but for Dropbox in this movie It’s really bad literally. They stand in awe of Dropbox’s magnificent firewall then they demonstrate the password for the app And how strong its security is then of course they make it? explicitly clear that the evil malware emoji can’t get through because you know it’s Malware and malware can’t get into the great secure app of Dropbox. This is not just product integration this is a direct demonstration and endorsement basically the pinnacle of all that is hashtag spawned so long story short Screw the legal mumbo jumbo the results are definitively clear the emoji Movie is totally out of line look no further than the FTC guidelines It violates rules that myself and literally millions of other YouTubers are held to every day Shut it down everyone call in the feds let them know that these violators should receive as many frowny face Emojis as they’ve got down there at the FTC Not only is this movie a huge steaming poop emoji But it’s also a poop emoji behind bars emoji because what they are doing is literally illegal You will profane the emoji movie no longer Oh no, His dab’s, too strong, it’s blinding meee !!! Get good hater. The Emoji Movie’s ability to make young impressionable minds aware of quality malware free file-sharing services like Dropbox and the endless hours have fun they can derive from the incredible just dance that with its selection of 283 of today’s hottest dance tunes is protected by section three one seven of the FCC’s Communications Act Which states that any motion picture film produced to appear in theaters doesn’t have to disclose its brand partnerships? Curse you Jack’s films and your robust knowledge of arcane legalese [Mat] But seriously is that really true? [Jack] Would the emoji movie lie? I mean, have you ever had this much fun playing just dance now? [Jack] yes Jack’s films away! [Mat] Waitwaitwait! I didn’t make up all those other disclosure rules though… Those are all on the FTC and FCC guidelines… So if movies are exempt from having to disclose that they’re getting paid millions of dollars from these products …For some reason… then what? These rules only apply to TV newspapers and digital video..? [Jack]Just digital. TV is judged by other Standards as long as that Milton Bradley promotion is listed off in the closing credits of that episode of Big Theory, you’re all good, Fam! (audience laughs at scene) [Mat] Why is the audience laughing at this they’re just playing twister, they’re not even in funny positions [Jack] Because it’s hilarious, Mat Oh boy between this and the emoji movie, this year has been a comedic powerhouse [Mat] But no one even shows the credits of TV programs anymore at best They’re off in a tiny corner while the next show starts playing! [Jack] yep [Mat] and meanwhile youtubers and other digital video creators have to disclose an ad at the opening seconds of the video and then again when the actual integration Starts. [Jack] so viewers don’t miss it, yeah. and and movies don’t have to do any of this? [Jack]you betcha [Mat] WHY? [Jack] let’s be honest people were probably paid off. Add to it the fact that money rarely directly changes hands Even said it yourself to get Reese’s Pieces into ET, Hershey’s spent 1 million dollars PROMOTING the movie. Movies found a loophole they also cite their First Amendment Rights to disclose at the beginning In the middle of the movie would take away their rights to tell the artistic story they want to tell. [Mat] I don’t know with James Bond is willing to switch from his iconic martinis to a Bargain beer for forty five million dollars something tells me that arts and free speech may not be the driving factors in that creative Decision. [Jack] Oooh, speaking of bidding? I hope in the emoji movie 2 They go to the eBay app! ooh what I wouldn’t do to see gene getting a bidding war with jailbreak. oh boy, what hijinx [Mat] So what you’re telling me is that if the emoji movie were a YouTube video or a movie Made for Facebook or whatever, it would be illegal because it doesn’t disclose the brand Endorsements, but because it’s a feature film in theaters. It’s perfectly fine. [Jack] Yep [Mat, continuing] even if it’s directly targeting children [Jack]Yep [Mat] Doesn’t it seem hypocritical and unfair that laws require youtubers to disclose brand deals multiple times to make sure the audience knows the relationship between the brand and the creative while films get tens of millions of dollars to have Emoji learn how to play candy crush in the efforts of getting kids to play the game and none of it has to be disclosed Anywhere?!? [Jack] it does. And that’s what makes the brilliant creative minds of Sony Pictures animation so brilliant and creative But my work here is done JacksFilms, Away! [Mat] the FTC guidelines covering online bloggers and things like YouTube videos is over 10,000 words long that is longer than the entire script of the emoji movie which clocks in at 7426 words. oh yeah, I counted! the expectations for disclosures and movies are covered in 30 words, but can be summarized in four you “You Don’t need to”. And let me make it clear. I’m not opposed to disclosure I think it’s important, but I think it needs to be fair for movies, for television, and for bloggers. I’m gonna quote now from question one of the FTC guidelines (quote) “Do the endorsement guides apply to social media?” [Mat] their response? “Yes, truth and advertising is important in all media Whether they have been around for decades (like television and magazines) or are relatively new. (like blogs and social media)” [Mat] Notice the form of media who’s conspicuously absent there? Movies! The FTC states that the goals of these regulations are to help consumers distinguish ads from content But perhaps the worst part of all of this is that the emoji movie is clearly targeting kids, kids who, according to studies by the Association for Consumer Research don’t even understand that commercials exist to sell a product. if these Government agencies are truly invested in protecting viewers They should spend a little less time spending out notices to instagramers and spend a bit more time Asking these 90-minute commercials to shape up… shapeup, wait no that’s an app too! hashtag not Spon! HASHTAG NOT SPON! And probably never sponned again prepare for a lot more YouTube theories my friends, but hey that’s just a theory a film theory aaand special thanks to Jacksfilms, the Emoji Movie’s quote unquote biggest fan for helping me out with today’s episode if you missed his hilarious review of the movie then BAM There’s the link on screen right now Just uh Jack makes sure to slap a #SPON on that poop emoji Chest hair ya have at the end – and on a more serious note Please help support independent creators like Jacksfilms and us here at film theory who are trying to do good work in a system That’s obviously rigged against us how can you do that you ask well there are a lot of ways? But the easiest answer is by subscribing and then watching our videos links around screen now So please find it in your heart to click them now if you’ll excuse me I need to go hide I was already on some government watch lists before but calling out unfair relationships between the government and the entertainment industry I’m sure is making me no friends, so Fingers crossed all of our videos don’t get flagged

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  1. I would like to have matpat as my teacher
    mat: the emoji movie is ILLEGAL
    Me: I dont care the movie is a piece of 🚫🚫🚫🚫 anyways

  2. Matpat, we love you.. for the love of all that is films and games..stop drinking DIET Coke. It's bad for you, if anything drink regular, believe it or not its "better" for you than diet.

    Good day sir.

  3. ….now heres a theory.

    Mat is actually sponsored by coca-cola, and by saying he is not is infact the sponser section to promote the diet coke, by saying he is not endorsing coca cola, but wants to.

  4. Me clicking on this: Hmmmmmm, a video with a man dissing a terrible movie

    Me remembering I watched 2 years ago.

  5. Okay all the rules he is referring to relate to videos, not feature length films. Never have I ever seen a single movie that started with "this movie is sponsored by…" what is he even talking about?

  6. I'm alex from emoji movie 🤔😂😘😤😍😟😶😆😄🤬🖕👌👿💩🙉🤡👺👹❤️💛🖤🧡♥️💯💀👄🤟(*_*):-|:-[༼ つ ◕‿◕ ༽つʕっ•ᴥ•ʔっ

  7. I love game theory and film theory!!!!
    It's so cool!!!
    Every time I see a toad I jump on his head….
    I'm on bowser's side! Stop the fungus!!!!!

  8. Am I the only one that will avoid something over 'embedded' advertising? I mean, not on a moral level but I just subconsciously avoid it because I feel goaded or coerced into buying/supporting something. Even something I might have bought otherwise, but I feel uncomfortable and just avoid it at that point. Like it's a flight response to being cornered.

    I haven't been to Dunkin' in years. I love their coffee… I just can't. I feel manipulated and can't.
    Please tell me I'm not alone? I mean, I AM alone… I live alone…

  9. I watched two minutes of The Emoji Movie with my 6 and 4 year old cousins and I immediately grabbed the remote and tried to forget what happened

  10. ☺😊😀😁😂😃😄😅😆😇😈😉😯😐😑😕😠😬😡😢😴😮😣😤😥😦😧😨😩😰😟😱😲😳😵😶😷😞😒😛😜😝😋😗😙😘😚😎😭😌😖😔😪😏😓😫🙋🙌🙍🙅🙆🙇🙎🙏😺😼😸😹😽😿😾🙀🙈🙉🙊💩👶👦👧👨👩👴👵💏💑👪👫👬👭👤👥👮👷💁💂👯👰👸🎅👼👱👲👳💃💆💇💅👻👹👺👽👾💀👀👂👃👣👄👅💋❤💙💚💛💜💓💔💕💖💗💘💝💞💟👍👎👌✊✌✋👊☝👆👇👈👉👋👏👐

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