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Wolverine Publicity

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Not only that, but he doesn't appear in any of the other issues of the series, either.

"I stopped reading X-Men about the same time they started putting Wolverine on the cover of comics in which he didn't actually, technically, appear."
Lore Sjöberg, The Book of Ratings, "Marvel Supervillains (Part I)"

Certain popular characters within a fictional universe (and sometimes in real life) get used in gratuitous and/or inappropriate ways purely to enhance marketing.

Superhero teams in comic books constantly change. Characters join and leave so often that any given superhero team is often unrecognizable within a year. Other superhero teams have a Heroes Unlimited setup, where there are tons of characters and no two issues will have the same group. As a result, there are a lot more fans of particular comic-book characters than there are fans of particular comic-book teams or titles. Fans will like a new team book not if it has a name they recognize, but if it has characters they recognize. A new title will often sell based on whether it has already-popular characters in it, and existing characters will often be made more or less powerful based on how popular they are with readers. This is done so that characters can be viewed by more readers, and also to find the best possible combination for a team for sales.

This leads to one of the most overused tricks in comic-book marketing. When a character is very popular, they will often get Wolverine Publicity: appearing in every comic book title and format possible, smearing them all over even the non-related covers with all the fine delicacy of bacon-flavoured soap. The character will often have a flood of mini-series which desperately search for something new to do with them ("in this issue, Wolverine visits Turkmenistan!"), until the fans are sicker of them than they would be of bacon if they had to bathe in an offal gutter at the meat-packing plant too.

The next step of Wolverine Publicity is random cameos to drive other titles. The promoted character will appear in the first issue of every new title, and appear in old titles with flagging sales, regardless of whether the promoted character makes any sense there. Particularly shameless marketers will just slap the promoted character on the cover and have them appear for one panel in the issue. They will often suffer from The Worf Effect; a new character hasn't 'made it' unless they can thrash the most important character in the universe. Even if the story is actually a team-up, this pairing might suffer from being a Story-Breaker Team-Up since the promoted character may not fit in with the title's story or tone at all.

If a team has multiple titles, with different members in each one, the promoted character will somehow manage to appear in all titles — even if the stories are supposed to be happening at the same time. Even when that's not the case, this trope could apply to any hero who's a member of a team while also maintaining their own ongoing solo series, especially when no attempt is made to coordinate the two. The hero in their own title might have been held captive in Russia for weeks and just watched their love interest get brutally murdered in front of them, but in the team book they're cracking jokes in a relatively-light adventure in a magical realm. Maybe the hero secretly has Self-Duplication powers?

A subtrope of Face on the Cover. Compare Spotlight-Stealing Title, Advertised Extra, Billing Displacement, Clickbait Gag, Covers Always Lie, Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game, Overused Copycat Character, Red Skies Crossover, and Sir Cameos-a-Lot. When an iconic villain shows up in an installment supposedly featuring someone else as the Big Bad, this becomes Hijacked by Ganon. If an actor or character engages in self-promotion (whether in-universe or out), this could shade into It's All About Me.

Not to be confused with the idea that Wolverine is becoming the focus of the Marvel Universe (although that certainly has spawned many examples of this trope). Whenever Marvel wants to do without him for a while, they usually have Magneto rip the metal off his bones...

Note that if the popular character is a legitimate lead character in a specific work, then the trope should not be listed in it. It may count for the character as a whole, but not for that work. "Wolverine buys an ice-cream" may be an example; "Wolverine saves the universe during the Crisis Crossover" is not. Try to avoid trope misuse.

Examples, featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series

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    Fan Works 
  • Every Haganai doujinshi features Sena in some shape or form. Every single one. While most do it because they're focused on her, it's rather jarring to see a book about Yozora with her on the cover and all the plot being about her, yet the first three pages being Sena love just because. Or having her on the cover with Yozora yet not appear even once inside the thing. While she may be popular, this is a little annoying to non-fans of her, as other "Ensemble Dark Horse" characters, using the term loosely here, don't do this kind of stuff, it's just Sena.
  • Naruto is the second most popular fiction to be used in crossover fanfics. They have Rule 50 on every single Fanfic you can imagine. Thanks to this trope, readers will often only read and give a ton of reviews to Naruto crossovers even if the story makes no sense and/or very poorly written while overlooking the other non-Naruto ones.

  • In 1995, Time Magazine ran a cover photo of a cigar-chomping Rush Limbaugh with the blurb, "Is Rush Limbaugh Good for America?" The article inside only tangentially dealt with Limbaugh and mainly concerned the rise of "electronic populism" that would result from people having more TV and radio choices and from consumers getting more of their news from the Internet. This trope tends to involve Limbaugh a lot; a controversial, polarizing figure with 20 million daily listeners can attract a lot of attention even if he doesn't have much to do with the real guts of the project.
  • Cosmopolitan often promises BRAND NEW SEX SECRETS, but really just tells the reader the same stuff everybody knows. The worst cover example was "Orgasm Guaranteed", while inside the magazine, it says there's no such thing.
  • Syd Lexia's review of MAD Magazine #292. Needless to say, he was quite put out to discover that the actual article did not feature Mario (or any Nintendo game) at all:
    Syd Lexia: Then again, it's possible MAD knew *exactly* what they were doing when they put Super Mario on the cover. Mario is the single most recognizable video game of all-time and he had a godlike hold over my generation when this magazine was printed, so it's very possible that MAD put him on the cover as a cheap ploy to sell more issues. So you can take you pick as to why Mario is on the cover of a Nintendo-less issue of MAD, shoddy workmanship or intentional exploitation.

  • Medusa. Despite the fact that her only solid presence in the original myths is against Perseus, her woobieness in retrospect and being a stock Shout-Out means that if someone's doing anything remotely related to Greek Mythology, she's pretty much an obligatory presence even if claiming to be mythologically accurate yet making the setting during the time of The Argonauts (the Argonauts had Heracles, Medusa was slain by Perseus, Perseus was Heracles' great-grandfather, you do the math) as a reviewer noted in Rise of the Argonauts that she's just there to be there. Granted she's not the only Gorgon in the myths, but she's a perennial favorite to use.
  • Hercules. Hercules, in some plays and stories, at some point, was in almost every major thing Greece ever did, including riding along with Jason and the Argonauts. He also apparently stopped off at every island and city-state he could find and had about 300 kids, all of whom are the ancestors of kings. He often makes cameos in stories where people go to the underworld, as well. Even accounts of the Trojan War, which took place decades after Hercules' death, have one of his sons make a cameo appearance (and be killed by a son of Zeus despite his own divine heritage). At least the Argonauts story gets rid of him fairly quickly, when he abandons the expedition out of grief at the death of his Ambiguously Gay friend Hylas.
  • Hermes, better known to the Romans as Mercury. Although he was not one of the highest-ranking gods on Olympus (being Zeus's son and the official messenger for the other gods), the Greeks loved him for his penchant for mischievous adventure, and tried to work him into every one of their stories.
  • Pick a depiction of African Mythology in fiction. Odds are, they will involve Anansi in some way, often the only representative of African mythology to be found, despite Africa being home to more traditions and peoples than you can shake a stick at.

  • For Stern Pinball's X-Men, Deadpool was teased in the initial game menus, but did not appear until an early 2014 software update. If the player can make a certain number of Combos, Deadpool appears during various Villain Modes and increases the amount of damage the player inflicts.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street:
    • Since the early 90's, Elmo has been given more prominence than older characters on the show such as Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster, much to the chagrin of longtime fans. A notable example of this was the second DVD release of Follow That Bird. Elmo is featured prominently on the cover in spite of appearing for roughly three seconds, in a silent cameo as part of a crowd scene near the end of the movie.
    • The DVD cover and trailer for A Special Sesame Street Christmas give Michael Jackson more emphasis than deserved for a singer whose guest spot lasts shorter than a minute. Not only that, but one of the bonus features is a rendition of Jackson's very brief cameo!
  • When The Noddy Shop was imported to the UK as Noddy In Toyland, The BBC had a particular fondness for Johnny Crawfish out of all the new puppet characters created for the framing segments. A lot of merchandise happened to feature him on the packaging and he even got his own music video.

  • LeBron James from 2010 to June 2012. The media paid attention to EVERYTHING he did, to the point of stalking.
  • Shaquille O'Neal anyone? Within his first four years in the NBA, Shaq released two rap albums, starred in two movies, had his own video game, and appeared in commercials endorsing Pepsi, Taco Bell and more. Years later, he would go on to do even more endorsements, get his own reality TV show, release a couple more albums, and make cameos in video games. Shaq has been everywhere, and this isn't even getting into his basketball career.
  • The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox at ESPN. Baseball Tonight should be renamed The Yankees and Red Sox Show.
  • For the final few years of his career, Troy Polamalu was promoted as virtually the equal of Ben Roethlisberger on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Granted, Polamalu was a top-notch player, but he was only a safety while Roethlisberger was the quarterback (and remained so until his retirement after the 2021 season).
  • Tim Tebow, definitely. Despite being a fairly average quarterback, he was the most talked-about person on ESPN during the 2011 NFL season. His overexposure declined a little bit during the 2012 season when he spent it entirely as the backup to Mark Sanchez, but he still got way too much attention. Now a thing of the past since he's finally retired completely to the broadcast studio (after a couple of failed football comebacks sandwiched by an attempt at a pro baseball career).
  • When NBC Sports Network had rights to Major League Soccer (2012–14), it aired one or two games every weekend. The overwhelming majority of the matches they aired featured the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders FC, and/or Philadelphia Union. However, they were pretty good at not hyping up star players on the level of other examples, so unless a player was having an incredible day, you didn;t expect the commentators to ramble on about them for half the match.
  • Danica Patrick, first in Indycar and then NASCAR, got constant promotion and coverage no matter how well she did. Since there are 42 other drivers in a NASCAR race, Danica got far more coverage than any other driver with similar career stats. Somewhat lampshaded by the fact that sponsored both Patrick in NASCAR and James Hinchcliffe in IndyCar; Hinchcliffe won several races with their name on his car, as opposed to Patrick who won nothing except the pole position at the Daytona 500, yet GoDaddy dropped Hinchcliffe and kept sponsoring Patrick.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo. To the point that in the European Championship Final 2016 he was prominently featured on the international TV stream (unlike the NFL with that other type of football, UEFA and FIFA don't allow TV stations to shoot their own feed instead making one pre-mixed for the world to take at face value or leave) even though he wasn't on the field for most of the game, falling victim to an early injury. Maybe France also fell victim to this trope as they lost to a team "that only consists of Cristiano Ronaldo" - without Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Ace Attorney series does this on occasion, promoting popular characters from previous installments in games they barely appear in. Justice for All has Miles Edgeworth on the box cover despite not appearing at all until the final case and being assumed dead until he shows up. Investigations gave major promotion for Ema Skye despite her only showing up for one scene in case 3. Spirit of Justice made a big deal about Maya Fey's return, giving her a spot on the box cover and dedicating an entire trailer to her. In the actual game, her only major role (excluding DLC) is as the defendant in case 3 and a plot device in case 5.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry, almost all chapters prominently feature Rena in the cover, even those that have nothing to do with her. She is missing only in Meakashi-hen and Minagoroshi-hen. That's 2 out of 8, people! Rena is also on the PS2 remakes covers, except for Kakera Asobi, where Rika and Hanyuu are there instead. Rena does have an important role in the plot, though Keiichi is the Decoy Protagonist and Rika the real one. That being said, it's a sure thing she gets the most attention due to her popularity.
  • Used, like many VN and Harem Series tropes, to play with the reader's mind in Doki Doki Literature Club!. Monika, a character with no route, is given equal billing in the promo pictures, the blurb to advertise it is written from her point of view, and she has more merchandise than others. It's like if Ryou were on the cover of CLANNAD and Nagisa were hidden in the corner. But then you find out there's a reason for that: Monika may have been a side character for the romantic comedy the game started as, but she pulls a Hostile Show Takeover and becomes the villain of the horror game it turns into.

  • For a while in the late 90s/early '00s, Max Blackrabbit's Zig Zag was like this in Furry Comics (especially those of a Fan Servicey bent); a member of the Sabrina Online cast from the strip's third year onward, she was also a supporting character in Badly Drawn Kitties (before the reboot) and had cameos and guest spots in at least a dozen other comics. Zig Zag isn't quite as popular in the fandom now as she was at the beginning of the '00s, so this sort of thing has been averted as of late.
  • Parodied by Schlock Mercenary in their transcript blurb— whenever the true transcript is not available, this message replaces it, trying to attract advertisers by using popular tags:
    The transcript for today's comic has not yet been entered. Had it been entered, instead of seeing this message you would have seen the text of the strip, rendering this page searchable, and providing all kinds of yummy words for our advertisers to twig on, like "mercenary" and "iPod Warcraft xBox Playstation widescreen TV".
  • Parodied in an 8-Bit Theater strip, where the cast splits up into multiple teams and Fighter appears in all of them, a team consisting of multiple Fighters, all in the same panel, ''with two of them high-fiving each other''. Black Mage doesn't get it. Neither does Fighter. The strip is even titled "Fighterine" in reference to the Trope Namer.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: Chapter 25 was announced as Bibidi's special, even though he only appears during the first part of the special and the Kaioshins have much more time.

    Web Original 
  • Channel Awesome:
    • The site had been so rife with Dr. Insano and Spooning With Spoony crossovers that Noah Antwiler said they frequently left him ragged and that he worried his fans would tire of them. Thankfully, there's a good supply of Expy Insanos willing to pop out of The Multiverse at any time.
    • The Nostalgia Critic is no stranger to this kind of exposure either; given Doug Walker has multiple characters, it is common for the other reviewers to get him to cameo or crossover at least once as one of these characters. Inverted too though; he's had just about every contributor on the site crossover and cameo once in his videos, which probably helps get their names out to his fans and encourage them to watch his videos. His recent videos, meanwhile, tend to be filled with skits and cameos by actors/actresses from his Demo Reel series, leading many to complain that show is starting to focus more on guest star hijinx than on actual reviews.
    • The Critic has this phenomenon as well, like when he explains how Free Willy wasn't any different than any of the other onslaught of A Boy and His X type films at the time and yet gained tons of attention, popularity, and is still remembered to this day:
      Critic: Because Michael Jackson did the song for it! That’s right, that’s the only reason I think this movie made money. He was still, like, one of the biggest things in the world at the time, so if he said "Tee-hee! Watch this whaaaaaaaale!" people are gonna watch that fucking whale!
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: Linkara has appeared in other peoples' reviews several times. Admittedly, these reviews are usually comic-book related, but he also usually appears with less well-known reviewers of the site like MarzGurl and Film Brain.
  • Many YouTubers use this tactic in order to get views, by labeling things that have nothing to do with their video, or using a gratuitous image of a hot woman, and misnaming their video.
    • Raocow does this in reverse — he sticks random tags that make sense in context on his videos. The Related videos section typically gets some comments on the video in question.
    • The VlogBrothers tend to get more views from guys on videos where the picture giraffe sex on the preview, even though the giraffe sex is not typically actually in the video.
  • Amazon Prime Video has slapped Jonathan Frakes' face on the header images for every season and episode of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction. You'd never know James Brolin was involved unless you watched those episodes.

    US Presidents 
  • George Washington is America's First President and Commander in Chief and has the highest military rank any general can ever achieve. America's capital city, Washington DC, is named after him, as is Washington State, and his name adorns many streets and places across the United States of America. He is still ranked among the three greatest American presidents (alongside Lincoln and FDR) and he certainly played a major role in the founding of America. Yet from the way Washington's presence is emphasized, it tends to get lost that he rarely had any role in the great events of the American Revolution. He had no involvement in the Boston Tea Party and the early parts of the Revolution and he only came on the scene as a behind-the-scenes colonial property-owning landholder. As Commander in Chief, he was actually a fairly mediocre general who never really won any battles and he had little participation on the decisive American victories (such as Saratoga). Indeed, Washington was far more effective spymaster. Washington had no involvement in authoring the Declaration of Independence and is not included among its signatories. He had no say in the writing of the Constitution and its debate (Madison, Adams and Hamilton were far more relevant) and as President, he more or less tried to be above-the-fray and rarely interfered in any of the debates or proposed his own policies.
  • It wasn't really deliberate, but it ended up happening during the 1900 U.S. presidential election. President William McKinley was running for reelection that year, but in those days presidential candidates usually didn't campaign for themselves. The task instead fell to McKinley's running mate, New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt, who had been added as a last-minute replacement but by that point was justly famous for his participation in the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba and many other larger-than-life adventures, particularly his days as a rancher in the Dakota Territory. On the campaign trail, Roosevelt dressed as a cowboy and managed to keep the spotlight consistently on him, to the point that many of the Americans who ended up voting for the Republican Party ticket did so more for Roosevelt than for McKinley. This was parodied in a popular cartoon of the time, which showed Roosevelt leading the inaugural parade on horseback... while just behind him, President McKinley was riding on a bandwagon and being forced to hold up a sign on which was written "ROOSEVELT is just ahead! Look at ROOSEVELT!" (Eight months later, McKinley was murdered by an anarchist, and the rest is history.)
  • At least once a generation, American politics tends to become utterly dominated by the persona of a single president; this is despite the fact that the American political system actually has less power centralized in the head of the executive branch than many other nations. A particularly charismatic, popular president winds up being the defining figure of his political era, getting credit (or blame) for basically everything that happens in government. Congress? The Supreme Court? Not so much.
    • Ronald Reagan: Practically every modern Republican politician will cite his name as someone who inspired them in some way — 'Reagan made me a Republican' is very much a full-swing Catchphrase to the right wing. Nevertheless, Ronald Reagan's fans will attribute popular conservative policies to him even if he had little or nothing to do with them, and likewise, he provides convenient scapegoat excuses for unpopular policies he personally implemented. Conservative radio shows and Fox News portray him a messiah for the American conservative workingman, to the point where the more unhinged among them claim he singlehandedly won the Cold War. 'What would Ronnie do?' is constantly applied to every current issue in Washington, even if that problem is something Ronnie had absolutely zero interest in or did not exist in his time. It even extends to the nominal left wing, as this hero worship of Reagan created a bloc of conservative Democrats (known as Blue Dogs) who originated as... Democrats who voted for/supported Reagan. This even goes far enough to whitewash whatever flaws the man himself had, as well as ignore policies he implemented and/or endorsed that no longer reflect the GOP's current agenda.note  On the other hand there has been a backlash among people farther to the left that point out true or imagined flaws of Reagan making him into a boogeyman who single-handedly - and deliberately - destroyed the American Middle Class, while being corrupt, committing war crimes and being too riddled by dementia and other ills of old age to find his pants while he was supposedly master-minding his evil master-plan even though the good as well as the bad was not Reagan's doing alone.
    • John F. Kennedy serves as the Alternate Company Equivalent of Reagan for the Democrats and left-leaning artists. Most democrat senators cite his presidency at the start of the 60s as a Golden Age ("Camelot")note , with even some of his posthumously revealed flaws (such as his incorrigible womanizing) lending him an image of a Lovable Sex Maniac in internet videos and biographies, while films like The Butler and JFK and others will demonize his successors, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon for ruining his "good work". In truth, it was JFK who, however reluctantly, committed troops into Vietnam, he was far less committed to Civil Rights than Johnson, and while many praised him for his statesmanship on the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was his incompetent handling of the Bay of Pigs invasion that led to that incident to begin with, not to mention that it was Kennedy who passed the controversial and widely criticized Cuban Embargo. His spectacular Conspicuously Public Assassination and the debates surrounding it has ironically done more to preserve his memory, preventing him from facing the backlash to the initially popular Vietnam War that his successors faced as well as his slippage into increasingly ill health that he had spent a lot of effort to cover up for the public. He's become in effect a legendary figure in the age of mass media.
  • Presidential also-rans can often retain a level of fame that can be quite disproportionate to their actual success. Ron Paul, for instance, didn't fare well at all in the 2008 or 2012 Presidential races, but still became incredibly famous and earned a reputation as a major figure in American politics.

    Other Politics 
  • This often happens with many national Founding Fathers or Icon of Rebellion. Many of them start out as Rebel Leader and upon their passing, either by natural causes, or early death, they receive Historical Hero Upgrade, Historical Badass Upgrade and a Cult of Personality, either deliberate or spontaneous, takes root and they tend to have their faces spread everywhere and anywhere, often overshadowing the work of other people and groups in the public consciousness.
    • Mahatma Gandhi is possibly the most famous Indian in the world, and certainly the Icon of Rebellion for India's Independence movement and a Trope Codifier for non-violent resistance. He inspired the American Civil Rights Movement and Nelson Mandela. He's also the only Indian leader represented on its currency, and the only one whose birth is celebrated with a national holiday, and he's considered the "father of the nation". So who governed India, who wrote its constitution and who oversaw the nation-building in the early years? Naturally you would assume that it's Gandhi, but the answer is no on all fronts. In fact, Gandhi never really held any public office or official post. He was primarily a community organizer and protest strategist, who spoke on a series of moral issues and social justice questions. The Constitution of India was in fact written by B. R. Ambedkar, a man who was critical of Gandhi. India's state-building, negotiation of boundaries and joining in territories from princely states was overseen by Sardar Vallabhai Patel, while India's first Prime Minister was Jawaharlal Nehru, who promoted secularism, modernization and industrialization. Furthermore, India's independence movement is really an umbrella term for a huge range of social movements, sometimes at odds with each other and while Gandhi was certainly important, movies like Gandhi tend to make him far more central than others are.
    • Simón Bolívar really was instrumental in the history and independence of several Latin American countries, but had he gotten his will, Venezuela, Bolivia (which is named after him), Colombia, and Panama would still be one country. He was by far not the only independence leader, by far not the only general of note and certainly not the most capable politician of his generation. Bolivar in fact repeatedly tried to pull a Cincinnatus/Washington, only it always turned out to be a 10-Minute Retirement because someone, somewhere just needed him to lead an army or serve yet again as President or Dictator.
  • Napoléon Bonaparte deliberately went out of his way to publicize and promote himself over and above his already considerable level of accomplishments, while posthumously his memory is elevated inside and outside France over and beyond proportion. The famous Napoleonic Code was authored by Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès, and it was more or less a codification of laws put in place by the governments of the First French Republic, with Napoleon's main contribution being the political stability he brought about to consolidate the process. His own coup to take power was essentially an opportunistic power grab of a pre-existing plot by a group of liberals who wanted to topple the Directory government by using the military (already a common occurrence for the last four years by that time), and the plot would have gone ahead with another general in place of Napoleon, who barely got out of a military disaster in Egypt to luck in on a plot that had it gone another way would have brought him to task for his misadventure in Egypt. Within France and Europe, historians and commentators commend him for being a founder of Modern Europe, even if what he really wanted to do is rise in the social ladder and become part of the nobility of Europe and put a halt to the changes he had to put in place to maintain his legitimacy as a "son of the Revolution".
  • Kim Campbell, Canada’s first female prime minister, is often prominently emphasized in educational materials in Canada that deal with the prime ministership, as well as the history of Canadian women. The current official tour of the temporary House of Commons usually features a stop at her (prominently displayed) portrait. Trouble is, she was never elected to the position, and merely inherited the job for a few months before leading her party to the largest landslide defeat in Canadian history.
  • Iconic suffragette Susan B. Anthony has, in recent years, been co-opted by the pro-life movement for allegedly being against abortion, even though she took no active part in protecting unborn fetuses. The pro-lifers referred to several documented statements against abortion claimed to have been said by Anthony, but there have been debates over whether or not she actually said them, or even if she was against abortion at all. On the other hand, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was against abortion, and her organization only starting performing abortions several years after her death, but the pro-life movement tends to ignore that and vilifies her as "the godmother of abortion."note 

  • Certain legendary historical figures are reduced to "mascots" of their era, and often used to hock products or services they have absolutely nothing to do with include John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin.note  At its worst, this phenomenon will result in Unintentional Period Piece if the celebrity featured is clearly a product of his/her time and will be forgotten by everyone in about a decade or so.
  • This sometimes happens to entire civilizations. People know Angkor Wat as a ruined temple in the jungles of Cambodia (to the point it's on the flag) and at least recognize Bayon; that they were built in the biggest city in the world (by area) at the time, which was the capital of the Khmer empire that spanned half of southeast Asia, gets forgotten unless it's in connection with those monuments. Similarly, a lot more people recognize the Taj Mahal than can tell you what a "Mughal" is.
  • You also see this in the case of culture where whole periods of literature, painting, architecture and landscape are reduced to a few names and individuals who end up being way more overexposed.
    • In the case of India, China, Japan and other nations, tourist industries and advertising promotes and identifies a particular group of monuments (Taj Mahal, Great Wall, Sensoji Temple) over others despite each nation having real diversity and several different buildings and places that are quite diverse from each other.
  • Leonardo da Vinci is often promoted as the ultimate embodiment of The Renaissance based on the fact that he painted two of the most iconic paintings (Mona Lisa, The Last Supper) as well as his notebooks. In actual fact, he was Brilliant, but Lazy, forever procrastinating his commissions and only left a few complete paintings at the time of his death; his so-called "inventions" and designs, while certainly striking and ahead-of-their-time, were absolutely unworkable and certainly never had any influence when these inventions eventually went into production. As for Renaissance Man Michelangelo Buonarroti was equally multi-talented (a poet, a sculptor, a painter) but he was more prolific in his different fields and more importantly completed his commissions as did the other artists of his generation (Giotto, Massacio, Ghirlandio, Tiziano, Donatello, Bramante) yet Leonardo is the Spotlight-Stealing Squad for 300 years of Italian cultural greatness.
  • Gustav Eiffel was primarily a structural engineer yet he supplied his name to the Eiffel Tower, even if the iconic design of the monument was the work of two employees for his firm, Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, who let's face it you just heard about them on this page. Eiffel is also associated with the Statue of Liberty, even if the designer of the statue was the sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi. Eiffel is a genius and innovator in his field of course, but the people who created the look of his famous works end up being overshadowed by him.
  • This can happen with YouTube's "related videos" service. Most times the "recommended for you" video will be something you watched ages ago and don't care to revisit. This can be rather annoying if you watched one YouTuber's video out of curiosity and the site keeps trying to get you to watch it again even though you don't have any interest in said YouTuber's videos whatsoever. It can also base recommendations off of a video that you clicked by accident a while ago, or repeatedly recommend the same shipping video for months at a time because you watched a few non-shipping videos related to the fandom. Or, more annoyingly, you watch a political video that's anti-X, and suddenly your "related videos" feed includes mostly pro-X videos, because the pro-X video producers use similar tags and get more views. This might be less of a problem now that You Tube has installed a "not interested" button in a dropdown menu for each item. Clicking it immediately hides the item from view and, no doubt, will tweak the site's algorithms to avoid it and others like it in the future.
    • There is a way to prevent this. You can use private mode on a web browser and watch YouTube videos without logging in. Suggested videos remain related to the videos you just watched and website cookies and browsing history are automatically cleared when closing a window in private mode.
  • The Manhattan Project owes its existence to this: when Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner escaped to the US to flee from Nazi Germany, they knew that nuclear bombs were on the cusp of being invented, and Germany had a good chance of being the ones to do so. They wrote a letter advising the US President (Franklin D. Roosevelt) of the danger and that the US should start its own atomic bomb project so as not to fall behind. Of course, getting a letter to the US President during a time of war is very difficult, so they had Albert Einstein sign the letter, since his name was big enough to get the White House's attention. It worked, and the seeds for the Manhattan Project were planted for Robert Oppenheimer to materialize it.
  • The Mona Lisa:
    • Most art critics believe that the effect and aesthetic greatness of the painting are endangered by its constant overexposure. Almost anything to do with Leonardo features the Mona Lisa. For instance, the book cover of The Da Vinci Code and the posters of its film version feature the painting even if it doesn't have anything to do with her (the so-called "da vinci" code revolves around conspiracy theory surrounding Leonardo's notebooks, scientific research, and Dan Brown's fantasies).
    • Vox, in their Overrated series, expressed this trope when the painting was put into popularity after the art theft.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Mascot Abuse, Cash Cow Publicity


Spider-Man in Morbius Trailer

The producer of Morbius is all for falsely advertising Spider-Man in the Morbius trailer.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (30 votes)

Example of:

Main / NeverTrustATrailer

Media sources: