A flick about supersoldier drugs called Reckoning Day hits UK theaters this week. To promote it, a PR firm released a YouTube vid of people having intense, twitchy Salvia trips - "inspired by Reckoning Day." Guerilla marketing gone too far?
This kind of marketing reminds me of Max Barry's novel Jennifer Government, where shoe companies arrange for public shootings to promote their sneakers as authentically gangsta. Obviously smoking Salvia isn't the same thing as shooting somebody - the drug is harmless, though it does deliver brief, intense hallucinations. But there is something creepy about the way this video tries to use "real life underground culture" to promote a movie which is about drugs. The dumb part, or rather the overarchingly dumb part, is that Salvia is nothing like the drug in Reckoning Day, which you can see described in the trailer below as like super speed or something.
So basically this is viral video marketing fail for two reasons: 1. It's creepy to film people taking drugs to market a movie; and 2. The drugs they are taking are unrelated to the movie.
Still, it makes you wonder about the future of viral marketing. Vids of teen girls cutting themselves to market New Moon? Sounds so authentic!
via UTalk Marketing