There’s an almost exhausting amount of entertainment choices available now. It feels like every few weeks a highly anticipated movie, TV show or video game arrives, and everyone starts raving about it until the next thing arrives. In this cluttered environment, it can be tough for a movie to break through and reach potential viewers.
When a movie isn't tracking well studios start to panic; and their panic often leads to really stupid ideas.
That’s not to say a risky ad campaign can’t pay often – just look at Deadpool or Cloverfield – but if they’re not handled properly they can be disastrous. What’s meant to be a cool, unique campaign could just be embarrassing, and it has the effect of turning people away from the movie instead of drawing them in.
While it might be humiliating for the studio involved, it’s kind of fun for everyone else to watch them crash and burn. Here are some of the worst examples of a publicly stunt going up in flames, and how they affected the films in question.
8. Fake Elevator Murder - Dead Man Down
It can’t be much fun being an ad agency hired to promote a mediocre Colin Farrell action movie, but Thinkmodo did their best to drum up some business for it; they staged a scene in an elevator where one man attempts to murder the other, and filmed the reactions of bystanders who walk in on them.
While it’s an intriguing morality experiment, it feels utterly tacky to do it as a promotion tool for something like Dead Man Down, a movie it's hardly worth traumatising members of the public over. Sadly the video will do little for your faith in humanity since half of the people who see just walk away. One douche even stands there and films it.
A few brave citizens go above and beyond the call of duty, though, rushing to help the man being attacked or spraying his attacker with a fire extinguisher. The prank managed one feat, though; more people saw it than Dead Man Down.