Is it me or is there something terribly wrong with this marketing campaign?
I first stumbled upon these images on The Movie Blog, and I have to say that this really surprised me. This past weekend I was talking with a friend, whom apparently goes by the name “Mr. Banana Grabber”, about how the ending of Marley & Me was obvious since the best-selling book was known for being really sad and tragic, plus how it was autobiographical and after doing the math – a dog simply doesn’t live that long… I mean what else could’ve happened besides the dog dying? But this is a bit ridiculous.
I’ve seen this done earlier this summer for the Judd Apatow film, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Billboards, buses, taxis, and posters displayed spraypaintings that said things like, “You Suck Sarah Marshall” and “My Mom Always Hated You Sarah Marshall.”
For those who had no clue who Sarah Marshall was, maybe this caused you to Google it… and if you did then you would’ve stumbled upon IHateSarahMarshall.com – the blog of Peter Bretter (the main character in the movie) who explained that he used the money he made selling the engagement ring he bought for Sarah Marshall to buy every available billboard in town. The blog was updated frequently until the day the film was released with a final post saying he’s going on vacation to Hawaii… which is where the movie picks up from.
Now that kind of viral marketing is clever, interactive, and really shines a light on the film. The Marley & Me marketing… not so much. Needless to say there are plenty of upset people who have seen “The Dog Dies” billboards.