Here is why this poster worked for me: it actually got me to look the film up. And it did this through two things. First, the color scheme and drawing style caught my eye and made me pay attention. Then the simple BELIEVE, together with the url (willhenrybeleive.com), intrigued me. The sentiment is strong, believe, and it’s expressed clearly and boldly. And it’s also cryptic. Believe in what exactly? Why do we want him to believe?
And so I spent some time learning more about the film. Pretty decent outcome for a teaser poster.
Of course, it doesn’t really work as a final poster. It’s just not the kind of thing that will be convincing to people standing around in the theater lobby trying to decide what to see. But even in that sense, it still seems better than the first poster.
As a couple of readers already pointed out (thanks Jeenyus and Nagle), I obviously missed that this poster is a riff on some by now very familiar Obama posters designed by Shepard Fairey. Not sure how that slipped my mind. In fact I imagine the resemblance is part of why the poster caught my attention in the first place.
Obviously, this makes the poster a tad bit less original. And I tend too feel a bit squeamish about political images being appropriated by marketing departments, especially when it happens so close to the actual facts.
But it is a bold move in some ways. And if anything probably makes the poster more memorable.