Poster 1 -
This is the original theatrical poster for The Kings Speech, it was widely criticised for its poor design and lack of appeal. The reasons for this are simple. Firstly, the poster has a worrying lack of information. Although the stars' names appear at the bottom of the poster it is unclear to the audience who the main character (the king) actually is. Also, the images which have been used look unrealistic and do not clearly suggest what genre the film is. Both Rush and Bonham-Carter have expressions on their faces which suggest humour. This may of given the audience a false impression of the film, as they may have been led to believe that the film was a comedy. The colour and font of the 'The Kings Speech' also does not fully suggest what the genre of the film is. The golden shimmer which covers the title suggests that the film is about the grand life or the riches which a king has, however it is quiet the opposite, and portrays the dark, hurtful truth about the life of a king. The sky in the background of the picture may also have given the audience the wrong impression of the films genre. The sky appears to be a vintage light blue accompanied by white 'fluffy' clouds, to the audience this may appear as if the film is very calming and joyful, however it is not. Another negative point of this poster is how the characters have been laid out across the page. Once again the audience is unclear as to who the main character is. To the audience either Rush or Firth could possibly be the king.
Poster 2 -
After receiving a huge amount of negative criticism, the designers decided that an improvement on the poster had to be made. This is the improved version, although this has many more positives than its predecessor it still holds a numerous amount of negatives to its name. Similarly to the first, this poster fails to state a vital piece of information, this piece of information is who the King is played by. Although the poster states the names of the three main characters it still does not state or show that Colin Firth is the King. Secondly, the poster is far too bleak. Although the simplicity of it can show the audience what era the film is set in (due to the old fashioned microphone) it still does not suggest what era or what genre the film is set in. The golden background is once again used to connote wealth or high status as well as to stand out and brighten the dull images in order to bring them back to life. Although this is the improved version, it may possibly be worse than the first, dismal attempt as this poster does not even show any of the characters involved in the film. The image used does suggest that a man is going to perform a speech, but does not state that the man is the king, this once again does not give the audience a clear image or idea of what the film is about. Similarly to the first, this poster contains a quote which is used to capture the audiences attention and persuade them to go and watch the film. However, the quote does not stand out and fits extremely well into the boring theme of the poster. As the poster is so bleak and lacks so much crucial information, it is extremely unclear as to what the target audience is, this once again links back to the lack of knowledge of the genre of the film.
Posters 3 and 4 -
Once again the designers were set with the task of creating a poster which would be popular and noticeable with the public, this time more improvements were made. The two posters which were released were very similar and both contained bold text with simple messages, this technique was used to draw the viewer in. One poster, which features Geoffrey Rush, uses certain words from what appear to be positive reviews. The specific words used give off many British connotations and constantly link back to the monarchy. Words such as "Majestic" and "Exquisite" suggest that the Kings speech is a royal or grand type of film. The poster directly addresses the audience when it states the phrase "fills you with joy" which encourages the viewer to watch the film. This poster also features information such as when the film would be in the cinema as well as other actors/actresses who stared in the film. Once again the title/font is coloured in gold to connote power, high status and wealth. The font and colour of the positive reviews may connote purity, suggesting that the words used are in fact true and that the film is truly 'Majestic' 'Marvelous' and 'Terrific.' The simplicity of the font may also connote the simplicity of the film, and the way the audiences eye moves down chronologically the page may also suggest the pattern of the film, how it is easy to watch and slowly moves along in order, with no twists, turns or fast paced action intertwined into it.
Another form of poster was released also, this time it finally featured the King himself, Colin Firth. This poster appears to be much simpler than the one previously mentioned. It uses 'God Save The King'. By using the word King with only Firth in the image, it allows the audience to discover that Firth is playing the roll of the King. The font and style is similar to the famous "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster which was first used in the late 1930's, the era in which the film is set. The poster also features important information and portrays the film's cast, release date and the companies which were involved; all are placed at the bottom. The large image and text are used to once again draw in the viewer. The image used is of the King, a close up shot has been used which therefore automatically makes the audience feel a personal bond with that particular character, this suggests what the film will be like, a story which closely follows the actions of a King. Similarly to its brother poster, this particular one also contains vital information about release dates as well as other cast members.
Although this style of poster proved to be the most popular with British audiences, the designers of these posters did not invent the idea themselves. The idea originated from a film poster which was released earlier that year, this particular poster was advertising the biopic 'The Social Network' which tells the tale of how one of the worlds biggest social networking sights, Facebook, was created. The Kings Speech's marketing team most likely decided to use a similar style of poster to attract a similar style of audience, a youthful one. They may also have used this style of poster to suggest that similarly to the social network, the kings speech follows the lives of true characters in order to portray the story in a different, more personal way. Both posters show a close up shot of the main character so that the audience can connote their importance/role in the film. Both posters also contain words or phrases appropriate to both the film and the character, these phrases may give the audience an insight into what the films story-line is.
The US Poster -
The team in charge of advertising the Kings Speech went for a different approach when targeting the US audience. This poster was highly popular in America because of it's use of advertising techniques which appealed to the American audience, these aspects are noticeably different from the British versions. First of all, the image which is used shows the King and his family, within the image all three characters are smiling suggesting to the audience that the drama will include happiness and family life. Once again shades of gold have been used on the poster to suggest power, wealth and high status. The background of the poster is light and may connote heaven or purity, suggesting the characters' personalities. These aspects of the poster appealed to the American audience as stereotypically Americans enjoy films which suggest happiness, rather than the harsh/true reality. The images of a smiling family also portrays a more positive attitude than the British posters, as in all three of the British versions the King looks somewhat miserable, this also suggests the difference in film preferences, as stereotypically Brits prefer more 'gritty' films with suffering and unhappiness, where as Americans are completely the opposite.
The colour scheme may also connote the pattern of the story, as the bottom of the poster is dark, this may suggest the Kings attitude or personality at the beginning of the film, however the further up the poster the eye travels the lighter the colours become until eventually a light heavenly image appears. This may connote how the Kings attitude and personality changes throughout the film until eventually, at the end, the King is a happy man, the smile on Firths face also suggests this. Another aspect of the US poster is the fact that the three main actors are mentioned on the poster, showing the audience exactly who is playing the key roles.This poster has also included slogans which inform the audience about the films accolades e.g. 4 times winner of the academy best picture. By using information such as this the audience are able to see just how good the film is, therefore they are eager to watch it and see if they agree.