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Variety (1958) - Pictures: Overcoming 'Vertigo'


  • article: Pictures: Overcoming 'Vertigo'
  • journal: Variety (30/Jul/1958)
  • issue: volume 211, issue 9, page 17
  • journal ISSN: 0042-2738
  • publisher: Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, Inc
  • keywords: Vertigo (1958)



Overcoming 'Vertigo'

A new. hardsell ad campaign, stressing the suspense elements, is credited with revitalizing "Vertigo," the Alfred Hitchcock production being released by Paramount, to such an extent that the distributor is optimistic that the film has a chance of approaching or perhaps equalling the $3,600,000 U.S. gross of "The Man Who Knew Too Much," previous Hitchcock entry for Par.

While the latter opened strong and followed the conventional distribution pattern, "Vertigo" opened fair to good, with only a few excellent dates. The initial ad campaign contained no "sell" material and merely attempted to create a design or a symbol, similar to that employed in the promotion of "The Man With the Golden Arm." In addition, Par felt that it was handicapped somewhat by the "Vertigo" title, which few of the public knew the meaning. However, the film company went along with the title at the insistence of Hitchcock.

Although the poor initial results prompted the switch in the campaign, it was decided to keep the original title, the feeling being that the first campaign served as a "teaser" in establishing "Vertigo" in the public's mind. What has convinced Par that the picture now has an excellent chance of becoming a big grosser is the immediate pickup in business as soon as the ad campaign was switched. According to a Par spokesman, the second week's grosses surpassed those of the opening week and the third week's takes were as good as the second's. In addition, "good" holdovers were reported in all situations as soon as the new campaign was launched.