The first X-Men movie came out in 2000, long before all of our movie trailers started showing up on YouTube and clever marketing ploys could be forwarded with a click of the mouse. So the marketing department for X-Men decided to try something a bit silly: they played a joke on the people who open Congressional mail.

Below is an account of my personal experience interning for a Congressman in the spring of 2000, just a few months before X-Men was released. As goofy as it was, this remains my single favorite marketing strategy for a movie ever:

Senator Kelly's website, MutantWatch.com is no longer online, but you can still see it on the Wayback Machine. Confession: I don't have the actual letter that I received on that fateful day, so I lifted the text from the website. The tone and content of the letter was, if not the same, at least very similar.

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Also, I've spotted some of the Senator Kelly campaign buttons and bumper stickers on eBay, in case you're curious as to what they actually look like. Sadly, I was not able to track down the video that went with them. If anyone still has it (or has seen it online), I'd be tickled to see it again.