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Jun 11th
05:52 pm
Zac and Media Saturation by Jeezbee  
jeezbee posted this in comments on the last post, but I thought I'd post it separately to keep the comments more organized and because I'm really bored and wanted to make a new post. And hey, I even threw in some pretty things to look at, in case words are hard for you today, lol.

Since there is no news I thought I put something up for discussion I've been thinking about recently (I hope you don't mind C).

When one of the movie sites I'm reading (HitFix) recently reported on the MMA they commented that Zac is the second-most overexposed actor right now and recommended that it would be good for him to disappear for good 6 months:

"Poor Robert Pattinson can't escape the public eye, but Zac Efron may need to try and step out of it for a good six months. From "HSM3" to the Oscar show to hosting "Saturday Night Live" to promoting "17 Again," Efron is close to a publicity saturation level. The last thing he needed was to appear as much on the MTV Movie Awards as he did on Sunday night. Without a break, he might be throwing back drinks with the Jonas Brothers remembering "the good ol' days" sooner than he thinks."

When the news about Zac guesting on Entourage came out and he walked the red carpet on The Hangover premiere just right after, they kept making similar comments (although not that strongly). I should note that this is a respectable site and the movie editors are established online journalists who might not have the ultimate wisdom but certainly some insight into this industry.

Personally, I do not agree on all fronts but I do see their point.

I think that Entourage is a good thing - it's only one episode with probably 3 minutes screentime and he's not going to do lots of promotion for it if at all. The good (exposure to adult and male viewers) by far outweighs the bad.

I do however agree that Zac has had tons of exposure in the last 6-9 months and it would be indeed good if he minimizes his public appearances and interviews for a while. He can't escape it 100%, he still gets caught by the paps every once in a while, even though he got pretty good hiding, and the media is making up stories if there isn't any news - all the more he should try to avoid the publicity where he's in control imo. I'm all for him attending premieres if he wants to but I think it would be better to not walk the carpet and not take pictures at the after-party for that matter. Of course that would suck for us but I believe it would be better for him.

Also, here's an added thesis:

I think there is a good probability that Twilight and Rpattz will get some increasing overexposure leading up to their release in November and might experience serious backlash. When I started to become a Zac fan in spring 2007, I wasn't that much involved during summer 2007 to be able to remember all the publicity effects back then but I always felt that the backlash against Zac peaked during that summer when HSM2 and Hairspray came out. After HSM people might have been mainly suspicious and slightly annoyed but with all PR overkill during summer 2007 and the two movies coming out it turned into the hate we know. I think we could have a similar situation with Twilight here - the people outside the fanbase are getting more and more annoyed with the fandom and omnipresence of Rpattz already and if Summit parades them around for the next movie as they have for the last, we might see a similar change (if not with New Moon, there is another "chance" with the 3rd installment).

If that happens depends on 3 factors in my opinion: a) how much publicity the actors will have, b) how Rpattz acting is (perceived) and c) if the movie is actually any "good" in the eyes of non-fangirls. Personally, I think the biggest factor will be if the film is accepted by the fanboys - there is a chance of this happening since it does feature some action, vampires and werewolfs but on the other hand, we all know that Twilight isn't really about vampires, it's a teen romance where vampires are the means to an end - as to the fact that they are used to give that harlequin-level "romance" more devotion, eternity, blablabla.

To me, Twilight is the wish-fulfillment of love, romance and a relationship for teengirls who have a totally unrealistic view on reality in that respect, just like HSM was the wish-fulfillment of high school reality for little girls. (I hope I don't offend anyone with this statement - of course everyone can still enjoy each one for what it is but it has nothing to do with reality in either case imo). So, the big question to me is if there is enough non-romance in this movie to please the guys. In case the movie annoys the shit out of the guys, I think it depends on Rpattz performance how much the hate gets targeted towards him or the franchise only, although he'll certainly get some of the crap even if he does well.

Coming back to Zac: if he lays low while the Twilight craziness is in full steam, he might be able to benefit from this. Basically, Zac will give them little reason to be annoyed while Rpattz will cause increasing nausea amongst the general public due to the overexposure (and all those tabloid covers will do add to that). Once Zac "comes back" after a while, he might be the lesser of two evils.

Having said that, I've left potential promotion for M&OW in October out of that scenario although I don't expect the distributor (however that will be) to have that much P&A money anyway so the promotional level will be not that big imo.

Your turn. :)

EHS' opinion.

I agree that Zac is at saturation. But I don't think that the MTVMA appearance was too much. But maybe that is because, especially in comparison to Twilight, he was just a little part.

Also the saturation is dissipating substantially already. People on the imdb boards always panic (or rejoice, I'm not sure, lol) and say "OMG ZAC'S BOARD IS SO BORING, HE IS SO OVER" just because his imdb board dies down. It is inevitable. His imdb starmeter rank will fall. He will probably sink to under 100 pretty soon. I don't mind, because a lot of successful actors live under 100 most of the time, unless they are promoting. Likewise, his ranking will rise once he's out promoting again. Honestly, it would take him another huge franchise or a series of successful movies propelling him to Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt levels of fame before he can permanently live in the above 50 range.

I kind of agree that if he appears at too many premieres it will be weird so hopefully that is kept to a minimum, at least the picture part of it. He will probably have to put in an appearance at the TCAs. Do we think he'll be nominated for 17 Again or HSM3? Or, lol, even both? Entourage will be a good appearance for the late summer, since it probably won't air till late August or even September. And like jeezbee said, it is a good demo to hit. If he does promote MAOW in October, that will also keep him on the periphery. I would suggest though that he record more spots in Robot Chicken. I think Robot Chicken is an excellent way to keep involved without being overly visible and it will help him make inroads in a demo that mostly still dismisses him.

Long and short, he doesn't have to be at the center of everything, it isn't expected nor is it typical. And I doubt he wants it. But, although some people have object permanence issues, I think these appearances will be just enough to keep him in mind for most people.

My only hope/desire/wish is that he looks really, really good for any appearance he does make. I mean, you know me, I like him pretty much no matter how awful his hair looks or honestly, even how much makeup is caked on him, but other people aren't like me. They need people to look really fucking hot or they get all meh and bitchy about them. So for the few red carpets he attends the rest of the year, I hope he will pull a super awesome look together.

I've thought it for awhile, but I think that what Zac said about taking some time off was really his way of spinning this low-profile period in his favor... just in case some Negative Nancy wants to be like 'Zac isn't doing anything, his career is over, he's a nobody, he's a failure.' Which is not true, obviously. But when he's been at top of mind as teen heartthrob for some time, it could feel like that, especially with Rob/Twilight out there. So, keeping it in his control, he kind of prepped people for his absence a bit with what he said.

And, speaking of Twilight, I won't talk about it other than, seriously I'm already sensing media supersaturation with that property... but that could just be me and my gag reflex that acts up everytime an ontd twatlight post appears.

Anyway... I think time away will help him too, in many, many ways... far more than the ways it will hurt him.
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Bee: Zac - SNL - Ahoi 1jeezbee on June 12th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
To add to my initial comments in the post -

What I said about the media saturation was in regards to publicity going forward. I also think that the MMA appearance was fine. I forgot about the TCAs... yes, he might make an appearance there (Twilight will sweep this show too but he could take something like "Best Comedy" and/or "Best Actor in a Comedy" which is a category where he's not competing with Twilight.

Zac will also have further exposure/reinforcement with HSM3 slowly coming on TV. I've seen it started to be broadcast 3 times a day on what I assume is a pay channel but it can be only a matter of a few months max until it will get it's first (and then millionst) time it gets shown on the Disney channel. That will probably not reach many new viewers, aka new fans, but it'll keep him present for the existing fans.

Also, as discussed in the previous post, the 17 Again DVD will be coming out in 2 months. I expect this to be new exposure to a lot of people. People who were too embarrassed to watch a Zac movie in the theater and people who didn't find it appealing enough to go to the theater but will check it out on DVD.

The HSM3 TV broadcast, the 17 Again DVD and Entourage, plus M&OW promo, the unavoidable pap pics and occasional appearance (like Lakers games) should be enough exposure for him until year end to not be forgotten imo.

Reaction to EHS will follow with next comment. :)
Shruti: The Sky Might Fallcalcified on June 12th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
Nice essay btw! :)

I assume he'll at least present but probably be nominated for the TCAs; that's pretty far away to be too worried about now though. Since he'll start filming pretty soon, I think it's safe to say that if he avoids overexposure within the next 2 or 3 weeks, he should be fine.
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on June 12th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
Shruticalcified on June 12th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
.....what the fuck is his life.
Beejeezbee on June 12th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
On one hand I hope it's for CStC because I can't understand why he would let it come so far without reason (it clearly seems to annoy him too).

But on the other hand I really don't want him to have a hairstyle in CStC where this growing out would be necessary because I can't imagine any sexy haircut which would come of this.
Bee: Zac - GQ - Balancing on Car 1jeezbee on June 12th, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
Thanks.

TCAs is a good example imo. I think he should be only there if he wins something. Just showing up with no purpose would be sort of unnecessary publicity and he has no reason to present since he doesn't have a movie coming out. I feel that this (if he comes without winning) and also other "random" appearances do promote himself and not any movie, and that's something he always sort of wanted to avoid. JMHO.

Filming in Vancouver is certainly helping to avoid exposure (although I hope those Vancouver paps can't get too much to him) but that's not 6 months. He still has to manage his appearances at least until end year imo; I'm not saying he has to 100% disappear but it would be better if he's still careful.
Shruticalcified on June 12th, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)
For some reason, I always forget that Zac isn't scheduled for anything after October; I always think he's filming somewhere, something even though he isn't? Does that make sense? I think it's because we hear so many rumors.
Bee: Zac - People Sex - Flipped Collar 1jeezbee on June 12th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
Well, I hope he gets another project soon and will be busy filming then too but so far he isn't.
lmv191lmv191 on June 12th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC)
ouch, so many things to think about. (Thank you for the pretties!)

In a nut shell, I probably agree with all of the above to some extent or another. I think Zac's pretty good at knowing his moves, and time out will be good on several levels.

I'm not really sure why I feel this way, but I don't tend to be tooo worried about his overall popularity. I felt the same way when Leo started getting screamed at after Titanic. Every magazine you picked up was talking about flash-in-the-pan teen idol status, but I think some people have genuinely got the goods (whatever that may be) and just like I thought Leo was probably not going away, I think the same of Zac now. He's got it.

However, that doesn't mean he wouldn't suffer from over-saturation.

As for twilight... Ugh. I have no way to be objective about this because I feel a little nauseous every time I see it, so to me it's already way past saturation point. Much like ehs, I guess :-) There is a photo book for sale in Big W over here of RPattz, and on the cover he seriously looks like he just woke up with a hang over, vomited, and then posed for a pic. I'm not sure how it's a selling point for the book, but however...

On a slightly divergent note, did anyone else think that Zac's voice ROCKED as Billy Joel in Robot Chicken? I think it matured or something. Obviously it was a funny song, but he sang it so well!
Bee: Zac - GQ - Cover 1jeezbee on June 13th, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC)
However, that doesn't mean he wouldn't suffer from over-saturation.

I don't believe he's there yet but sometimes it's good if you get the opportunity to miss someone a bit.

And I love Zac's voice in the Robot Chicken episode as well. It's refreshing when Disney doesn't synthesize the vocals up to the wazoo.
lmv191lmv191 on June 13th, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC)
"It's refreshing when Disney doesn't synthesize the vocals up to the wazoo."

Actually, would you believe I hadn't really considered that? lol! But you're absolutely right.

By my comments above, I didn't mean that I think he's totally secure where he is in his career at the moment, I just think that (barring any unforeseen fuck ups) he will be ok. He's pretty clever, a definite product, and he keeps the media guessing with his refusal to delve too much into his personal life, which seems to intrigue people on a longer-term basis. Apart from that, it's just my personal feeling.

And I do agree. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" :-P
Bee: Zac - People Sex - Flipped Collar 1jeezbee on June 13th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
As much as we want to know more about Zac, I also think that sharing less real personal info is better long-term. When you know too much about an actor's personal life, it gets harder to accept him as the character he portrays in a movie. In other words, I agree with you. :)
lmv191lmv191 on June 13th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
Belissimo! :-)
Shruti: Girlfriendcalcified on June 12th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC)
I don't have much to add, other than to agree that his appearance at the MMAs was not too much, and frankly everyone seemed to like him there (but not his hair - ALAS).

However, if he went to say, 3 more random premieres before July, he would most definitely be overexposed.
Bee: Zac - GQ - On Top Parking Meter 1jeezbee on June 12th, 2009 02:23 am (UTC)
I totally agree - it was unavoidable that at some point the Zac obsession would fade; it's natural and tbh it had to happen as EHS said. Zac was basically the #1 teen heartthrob for 3 years straight and that's an insane period of time considering he has done it with only 4 movies (2 of them for TV) and didn't have new material to keep the t(w)eens attention every other week like others do with TV shows, music, myspace/YouTube/Twitter, biographies and endorsement deals. Yes, it bears risks but at the same time it increases the chances to be taken serious and survive long-term imo because with the later he would be really only a manufactered product. But that also shows it's time for him to get a foot in new genres and other type of movies because he already harvested the girls/teen demos - by now they either like him or not.

As for Twilight ~ I only brought up some of content-related stuff (like the romance aspect) to outline where the risk of putting off the non-fangirls is and how that plays into a potential backlash for that franchise and Rpattz. As I said the other day, I'm really glad that Zac never became real tabloid material. Yes, he gets plenty of fake stories but he was able to avoid being on the cover of them for the most part which is good because tabloid presence does NOT translate into box office draw no matter how likely that looks. I think the media saturation for anything Twilight is getting high but for normal people (ie who aren't reading online gossip sites etc as much) it's not as high as it appears to us imo. There is really no point in him trying to compete - as much as I might dislike it, Twilight is the current and bigger phenomena (if only because the property is young adult material in contrast to kids for HSM).

It's much smarter to retreat a bit and use the time to branch out. I'm sure there will be the nay-sayers but realistically we will only see in 3-5 years where either one is and if they could successfully cross over into the adult world.

PS: Thanks for your language review. :)
Beejeezbee on June 12th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Ups. The previous comment was actually indended for the post and not in response to your comment - just in case you were wondering.
Shruticalcified on June 12th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Haha I realized. It happens. :)
superstar5622superstar5622 on June 12th, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
1) I really like that you actually think and aren't a teeny bopper fan. =)

2) I agree pretty much with what you said. Compared with Twilight he is nowhere near overexposed (but they sure are getting on my nerves). However, it'd probably be good, both personally and professionally, to stay out of the news for awhile. It was that random premiere last week that got me thinking before that. If he just sticks with whatever he's promoting (which is nothing for awhile) then he'll be fine.
Bee: Zac - EW - Lying on grass 1jeezbee on June 12th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)

If he just sticks with whatever he's promoting (which is nothing for awhile) then he'll be fine.
Exactly. As long as he's promoting a movie and not himself (awards shows are ok if he's nominated/winning) he's fine.
jessica3311: Ellejessica3311 on June 12th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC)
Great thoughts & comments everyone. I also think Zac wasn't too exposed at the MTV Movie Awards, Twilight winning everything def. overshadowed that.

I also think him doing Entourage is a great thing ofc :D

Also I think he has been in the media alot because lets face it his public life is newsworthy to a lot of people which sometimes outshines his talent :( But the less he is seen the overexposure will fade.

With him off filming CSC I dont think he will be in the media as much. Sort of like when he did M&OW. Not as much because b/c his popularity has risen a lot since then but it should slow down. & I do think he is growing his hair for the role b/c like bee says he even looks annoyed w/ it LOL. I just hope they style it & make it look better...PLEASE! lol.

And about over Leo exposure back during Titanic days...I was a fan before Leo came out with Titanic...& man did it feel that way. But as much as I love Leo...he & Zac handle the media quite differently...I actually think Zac handles himself better with adjusting to fame and such. I also thought Leo took too much time off & his follow up movie flopped (The Beach)....luckily critical acclaim & working with top directors changed that...I dont want Zac to disapear for 2 years & come back w/ something like Leo did LOL. Just my thoughts on that LOL.

About the TCA's I hope he goes if hes nominated b/c that is his devoted fan base. But last yr he was nominated for superficial awards & didnt even win....which I thought was a waste...Plus lets face it Zac is an award show whore LOL...he needs to tone it down a bit...unless it gears to a new demographic. & I really hope he gets some recognition for 17 Again if he does get nominated!!!Im sure HSM3 will get noms...i think he &the other cast members forgot about that at the MTV Movie Awards LOL.

It would be nice for Zac to line up something else after CSC as a cushion but I dont think he has anything to really worry about. And with the new HP movie & New Moon....he should be okay....

Wow that was a lot LOL
jessica3311: Interview Magazinejessica3311 on June 12th, 2009 06:10 am (UTC)
But just to note Im happy he went to the TCA's b/c I got to see him 2ft away from me & it was one of the best experiences ever LOL
Bee: Zac - ELLE - Lying on Car 1jeezbee on June 13th, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)

Also I think he has been in the media alot because lets face it his public life is newsworthy to a lot of people which sometimes outshines his talent :( But the less he is seen the overexposure will fade.

I agree and that's why I think it would be good to lay low for him a bit - because he has nothing to promote so all news and appearances will be about him and his private life but not his work.

I also thought Leo took too much time off & his follow up movie flopped (The Beach)....luckily critical acclaim & working with top directors changed that...I dont want Zac to disapear for 2 years & come back w/ something like Leo did LOL. Just my thoughts on that LOL.

When I said, disappear I didn't mean he shouldn't do any movies or associated promotion (actually, I can't wait for him to go off filming CStC and hope he finds something straight after; I wished he also had done one more movie in the last 12 months but it wasn't meant to be). All my comments were directed at doing public events and appearances "without reason" like those 2 movie premieres he was at last week.

About the TCA's I hope he goes if hes nominated b/c that is his devoted fan base. But last yr he was nominated for superficial awards & didnt even win....which I thought was a waste...Plus lets face it Zac is an award show whore LOL...he needs to tone it down a bit...unless it gears to a new demographic. & I really hope he gets some recognition for 17 Again if he does get nominated!!!Im sure HSM3 will get noms...i think he &the other cast members forgot about that at the MTV Movie Awards LOL.

Last year he had HSM3 to promote so he was presenting. Yes, he is an awards show whore but he always had a reason to be at a show - typically he was presenting. I think all the presenting (at real award shows) was a very good strategy from his PR people to get him in front of a different demographic, onsite and on tv. But now he has done almost all significant awards shows (I think the only bigger show he hasn't presented at is the Critics Choices Awards), so I don't expect him to be at many shows this year around since I can't see why he would get invited to present twice in such a short timeframe. As for the TCAs - I just don't think it would be enjoyable for him to be there if he isn't winning anything - he gets all the Twilight comparisons permanently already, so I don't think he would want to expose himself to them winning everything while he sits there and smiles only. I sure hope he gets something for 17 Again too and I think he has decent chances - it's fairly recent and still in the viewers minds; plus it's in the comedy categories where he's not competing with Twilight. I actually think he has better chances with 17 Again than with HSM3 which will be already 9 months back at the time of the show.
jessica3311jessica3311 on June 13th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
I just brought up Leo comparisons the way I did from my point of view b/c I followed his career for a long time.

Well I hope he gets some acknowledgement for 17 Again for the TCA's...that would be great :). I saw your post on FF about starting date for CSC....u think he could still go?
Bee: Zac - GQ - Balancing on Car 1jeezbee on June 13th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
The flight from Vancouver is not that long and it's in the same timezone so I'm sure they can arrange for him to come down to LA for a day if he wins something. Personally, I don't see it likely otherwise, ie just to attend or present (if he's not winning anything). JMHO.
lmv191lmv191 on June 13th, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Leo
I totally agree that Zac handles himself better. I've been pretty impressed with how well he has done. Let's face it, it's a bloody big adjustment. Especially being so young.

What actually turned me off following Leo's career (because I was a massive fan of his acting abilities from the moment I saw Gilbert Grape) was the fact that after Titanic he whinged constantly about being a teen idol. "I don't want this, I never wanted this, I just want to be taken seriously, who cares about being on millions of girls' walls." He said it over and over, and talked about how much he didn't want to be IN the media TO the media, ALL THE TIME. Lol, well it felt like it to me at the time.

It just got to the point where (as a 15 year old girl, who actually wasn't spastically in love with his looks but really a big fan of his talents) I just didn't want to read another article where he talked about how he didn't want to talk about himself, and he could pretty much do without the support of all the girls worldwide who catapulted him to stardom.

I think Zac has been exceptionally nice about all of that. He has repeatedly thanked his fans, talks about how he has the best fans in the world, and says that being a teen idol is "a nice place to be in". I especially liked it on Much Music when he said, "Everybody talks about it like it's this bad thing, something you have to deal with" - which is exactly how Leo talked about it.

Regardless of whether those girls were fans of Leo's acting or his looks, or both, they built the platform for his stardom and therefore gave him opportunities into more serious roles, and it just sucked to me that Leo talked so much about how he didn't like it. Zac seems quite conscious that this is the case, and quite happy to show some appreciation to his fans, which I find really refreshing and sweet of him. And, actually, is part of the reason I have a lot of respect for him.
jessica3311: Zeo2jessica3311 on June 13th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
Re: Leo
Seriously I feel the exact same way LOL. Over time I didnt fangirl as much over Leo but I always was a devoted fan, till this day actually :) Seen ever movie he has come out w/ it. Its funny I really became a huge fan of his right after R&J when I saw Basketball Diaries on TV LOL. I would love Zac to do a role like that. Girlie u totally got my point the diff between the 2. :)*hugs*
lmv191lmv191 on June 13th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Leo
LOL yay! *hugs*

In the end I got so fed up that by the time "The Beach" came out I couldn't be bothered going to see it, lol. I suppose in the end I still respect his talent enormously, and every time I've seen him in something I've been struck anew by how truly talented he is... I just don't have much of an investment in what happens with his career anymore. You're definitely the better fan. Ah, how fickle is me! :-P

I think Zac will definitely break into stuff like that in time. I think it's smart of him not to do it straight away. He lacks some of Leo's grit - mostly (I think) because he's led a much more sheltered existence. He said that at this point it would seem "ingenuine", and I agree with him. But it speaks a lot to his self awareness that he knows where he is in the growth process.

Personally I'd love to see him play a beautiful but charming and psychotic serial killer. *shudders*