Follow TV Tropes


Advertising by Association

Go To

"Despite the explicit marketing tie-in ("From the studio that brought you Shrek"), both [Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron] are traditional hand-drawn cel animation with nothing to connect them to Shrek in look or in spirit."
Steven D. Greydanus, Decent Films

When a creator is maybe not prominent enough to carry a title on their own, but their work is popular and/or widely loved enough to mean something, the promoters of their latest project will highlight their track record to sell this new thing to people. Sometimes it does give the audience some clues as to what they might expect — a signature line, a Creator Cameo, other tropes said creator is known to utilize.

Can lead to Director Displacement in films and television when the "creator" is a producer — as this name immediately becomes associated with the work, people not bothered to look any further than promotional material will only know them as the creator of it and perpetuate both the displacement and the future of works being promoted by their name as they become more spoken of.

Sometimes may be used as a way to Polish the Turd.


May take the form of:

  • From the writer/director/creator of...
  • From the studio that brought you...
  • From the producer of... - Some people take this as a sign that they had nothing else to sell the audience on.
  • From the Award Winning creator of... - For when they really want to highlight the creator's prestige.
  • From the maker/s of... - They did something important on that film, had a little involvement with this one.

Compare Billed Above the Title (where the Creator's name is displayed more prominently than the title of the work), He Also Did (for when the work is incredibly out of genre for the Creator, but it isn't necessarily advertised), If You Like "X-Files" (where products are advertised by their inclusion in a work), In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It (where the Creator's name is part of the title or Tagline), and Preview Piggybacking (where a work advertises an included preview for a much more anticipated work).



    open/close all folders 

Straight Examples:

    Anime & Manga 

    Films — Animation 
  • David Kirschner
    • Advertisements for the film Once Upon a Forest said it was "from the creator of An American Tail". This was possibly done to mislead people into thinking it was a Don Bluth film, which it wasn't; David Kirschner produced both films (and came up with the initial idea for An American Tail).
    • Some of the trailers for The Pagemaster also said "From the creator of An American Tail" at the beginning. It was also produced by Kirschner.
  • Many second-rate CGI movies are often labelled as "from the producers of Shrek". That producer in question is John H. Williams, who also produced Valiant, Happily N'Ever After and Space Chimps.
  • Coraline was promoted as "From the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas", leading many people believe that the movie is by Tim Burton. Actually, it's Henry Selick who directed both movies, and Burton was only the producer of The Nightmare Before Christmas and had no involvement in Coraline.
  • DreamWorks Animation movies are often advertised this way, referencing previous DreamWorks All CGI Cartoons, Shrek being usually one of them.
  • Ads for Pixar movies use the "From the studio that brought you..." version of this trope.
  • Disney Animation Studios in its early years would advertise films as being "Walt Disney's Latest Picture", and in the decades after Walt's death would play up the brand in lieu of specific film association. Frozen was their first film to begin associating specific movies in its posters ("From the creators of Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph") and Big Hero 6 began Disney's habit of association in the actual trailers ("From the creators of Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen").
  • Played for laughs in the first trailer for The LEGO Batman Movie, where the trailer lists every live-action Batman movie ever made (by Warner Bros., anyway)... and The LEGO Movie.
  • Adverts for Chicken Run said it was "from the creators of Wallace & Gromit".

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Fred Saberhagen wrote the Novelization of the film Bram Stoker's Dracula. He offered to also write the novelization of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein just so the cover could say "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: by the author of Bram Stoker's Dracula."
  • Exceedingly common in literature, with the cover frequently advertising something akin to "from the New York Times bestselling author of Insert Book Here." Other common promotions include "by the bestselling author of the book that was made into a successful movie" or even "by the author of the bestselling franchise, of which this book is the next installment".
  • The three series Seekers, Survivors, and Bravelands are advertised as "From the author of the #1 nationally bestselling Warriors series" right on the covers. For Survivors, fans consider this rather misleading: while Warriors and Seekers have shared the same group of writers and editors under the pen name Erin Hunter for a decade, Survivors has an entirely new team and isn't connected to any of the people responsible for the other two series.
  • John Norman's non-Gor novels have the blurb by the author of the Gor novels on the cover, where the Gor books say "the Xth book in the Counter-Earth saga."
  • At least two books by renowned children's author Syd Hoff — "Julius" and "Sammy the Seal" — had the line "(By the) author of Danny and the Dinosaur" somewhere on the cover of some editions.
  • The novelization of Hook by Terry Brooks proudly advertised on the top of the cover, "From the Bestselling Author of The Druid of Shannara". The first printing even had the Druid title in BOLD ALL-CAPS and almost as large as the actual Hook title; subsequent printings shrunk the blurb down to just the top edge of the cover.
  • On the cover to The Wizards of Once just above the author's name (Cressida Cowell) is the line — "From the Author of How to Train Your Dragon".
  • Janet Asimov's Mind Transfer: Beneath the author's name, the cover points out that she is the co-author of The Norby Chronicles and Norby Robot For Hire.

    Live-Action TV 

  • News articles about I AM I's lead singer, ZP Theart, tend to introduce him as DragonForce's ex-singer.
  • Recent no-man albums tend to include a sticker that says: "no-man are: steven wilson (porcupine tree) and tim bowness". Which is ironic considering that Wilson considers no-man his main project.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Card games published by International Games Inc. and Mattel all have the inset "From the Makers of UNO" on the game's box. While most games are unrelated to Uno, it does help distinguish Similarly Named Works, such as the game DOS (the official sequel to Uno) from DOS!: Twice the fun of UNO (a word and drawing card game).

  • The packaging of the first wave of Hero Factory sets had a label boasting "From the makers of BIONICLE!"
  • The Grossery Gang have labels on the top of their pegs with "From the makers of The Trash Pack!" on them. Before their official release, both The Trash Pack and Shopkins YouTube channels aired crossover promotions for The Grossery Gang.

    Video Games 
  • Rage's box points out that it's "from the creators of Doom and Quake".
  • Dizzy: The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure was originally promoted with this caption: "By the Oliver Twins, authors of Grand Prix Simulator!"
  • The debut trailer for The Outer Worlds points out that its a game from the creators of the original Fallout and the development studio who worked on Fallout: New Vegas. Justified as the game is a Spiritual Successor to Fallout, only in outer space. It was also seen as a jab at the company who currently owns the Fallout brand.
  • The box to Little Dragons Cafe mentions that it was "created by Yasuhiro Wada, the imagination behind the original Harvest Moon game". Wada did create the first title in that series and he worked on the franchise until he split off during the DS era. In Little Dragons Cafe's case, at least it is very much in the spirit of Harvest Moon (but without the dating element).

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


    Fan Works 
  • The first paragraph of Super Paper Mario X starts with a "Creator of" example, like a trailer for a movie, but a Record Needle Scratch occurs halfway through, with the author assuring that "this is not a movie."

    Films — Animation 
  • Parodied by the 2007 Spanish-Italian animated film Donkey Xote. The film had a lot of similarities with Shrek, bordering on plagiarism. Its creators lampshaded this, promoting the film as "From the producers who saw Shrek".

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: The Peasant's Quest preview advertises it as being "from the company that made that game Trogdor, and that game Rabbit Algebra". (Trogdor was already a playable game on the website, but Rabbit Algebra was made up as a joke just for this trailer and was never playable.)
  • In How It Should Have Ended's Man of Steel Superhero Cafe short, Batman points out how prominently Christopher Nolan's name was in the trailer, especially since this is the only reason they really list producers. Superman insists that's not why people are excited.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Futurama episode "Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?" parodies this by having its opening caption read "From the Network that Brought You The Simpsons." (They could have made a big deal out of Matt Groening's name being on the cover of both shows, but they offer their then-shared home on Fox as the key similarity instead.)
  • Parodied in Family Guy, in an unaired cutaway gag from season 9, "Road to the North Pole".
    Stewie: [to Brian] You tried to trick me! Like those commercials for upcoming movies.
    [cut to Stewie watching TV in the living room]
    Announcer: This summer, from the guys who brought you Superbad comes a hilarious new comedy.
    Stewie: Uh, I hate when they do that. Which guy? You know it could be the writers or the guys in the wardrobe department, they don't specify.
    [Stewie changes the channel]
    Announcer: From the studio that brought you Wedding Crashers.
    Stewie: Uh, who cares? It's sure a broad association.
    [Stewie changes the channel]
    Announcer: From the species that brought you Talladega Nights.
    Stewie: Oh what, humans? Who else is making movies?
    Announcer: From the same molecular elements that brought you Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
    Stewie: What?
    Announcer: ...and air!
    Stewie: Fuck off!
  • Parodied in the "Uncle Grandpa Babies" segment with "From the network that brought you Adventure Time and Steven Universe."


Example of: