A movie poster’s job is to provide a visual preview of what viewers are about to see. The poster must grab the viewer’s attention and help persuade people to watch the film. The Titanic movie poster does a great job of communicating the main idea of the film to viewers by using emotions to persuade the audience; however, the poster does not give complete insight into the true genre of the film.
The mode of persuasion, pathos, is used to persuade an audience by appealing to their emotions. The Titanic movie poster helps persuade viewers to see the film by using this principle, pathos. The first image that grabs the viewer’s attention in the poster is of a couple embracing. Because of the actors’ sincere facial expressions, the loving bond between the two characters is obvious and leaves the viewer wanting to learn more about the intense bond the couple shares relationship. Viewers already feel emotionally connected to the couple even before they read the tagline. The tagline states, “Nothing on Earth could come between them.” Once the viewer reads the tagline and receives more information about the couple, they become even more invested with this relationship that is, according to the tagline, indestructible. The poster evokes sympathy and compassion towards the couple and makes the audience want to see the movie in order to see the couple’s relationship succeed.
The movie poster is slightly misleading and does not fully reveal the genre of the film. Although Titanic is a romance movie, it is also a historical thriller. The poster gives no indication of the adventure and action that this couple is about to embark upon. Someone who has never heard of or seen Titanic, may not even know that this story is based on a true tragedy that occurred in 1912. Perhaps the maker of the poster could have given more insight into the genre of the film by using a different tagline. The tagline could have been, “Only love could save them” or something to convey that the couple will be fighting for survival. In addition, the poster shows a cruise ship, but gives no indication that the ship is a famous and real cruise ship that crashed during the early 1900s. The maker of the poster could have chosen a scene of Rose and Jack running across the ship or of the ship breaking in half to indicate that this story is about the famous crash of 1912. Overall, the poster does a great job of conveying the romantic side of the film but struggles to portray the historical and adventurous natures of the film.
By playing to the audience’s emotions, the movie poster grabs viewers’ attention and makes them anxious to view the film. However, audience members will be surprised to learn that the story is based on true events and contains action and suspense. Although the poster is misleading, perhaps the makers of the poster intended to leave out these important details in order to pleasantly surprise the audience. This could have been strategy used by producers. The record breaking box office sales and the continued love of the film proves that the movie poster and this strategy was effective in attracting audience members.