“Venom” Warns Against Unsafe Driving and Unruly Noise in Chinese PSA Videos

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7:18 PM HKT, Tue November 6, 2018 1 mins read

As China seemingly loosens its quota on foreign movie imports, Hollywood is trying to get smarter about how it markets its blockbusters in the country. With the option of a Fan Bingbing cameo no longer as alluring as it once was, the China-fied artwork route has become a popular one — and spawned some pretty cool results:

Tom Hardy-led alien superhero flick Venom seemed to be treading that path when it put out a series of China-targeted artworks ahead of the film’s release on the Mainland this week:

But then the team responsible for selling the Marvel film to Chinese audiences took things up a notch. Perhaps buoyed by the success of the memes linked above, the film’s marketers apparently decided to dive a little deeper into the world of China-only promo by producing a series of government-pleasing public service announcement videos all themed around the movie.

And thus, we have Venom advocating safe driving, keeping the noise down so as not to disturb your neighbors, and generally adhering to law and order, kinda:

If you’re thinking “WTF?!” after watching those, you’re not alone. The videos have invited derision and mock praise on Chinese social media, though many commenters have recognized that it might be a smart way to get a film’s cinema release in China approved quickly.

Others have noted that Venom‘s run-time in China is apparently 5 minutes longer than the version that was released in North America (an anomaly given that films in China are usually cut to remove anything the government deems too “sensitive”). This has led to speculation that Venom‘s PSA work might not be the end of its China-pleasing campaign.

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