Hello, reader(s). As you must know, Strategic America is a fun and sexy advertising agency (Des Moines Business Record readers agree). In addition to our advertising work, we also do some brilliant PR work (linked again!). Sometimes, the great minds in our PR Department have to spend long hours coming up with great strategies for our clients. Other times, the wonderful citizens of this great, great country do some of the leg work for them.
I was recently reading a blog post about the movie Drive, starring Ryan Gosling. You’re a smart and savvy pop culture consumer, so I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It was released in theaters last month and had an OK debut, but didn’t break any records. The internet is telling me that the trailer for the movie made it look like a heart-pounding action film, when it was actually a more slow-paced, dramatic picture. Whoa, internet. Stop right there. Are you telling me that a movie trailer made a point to market a movie in a way that would make it the most appealing to the most people, at the expense of being 100% accurate? You disgust me.
Most people, like myself, would have probably thought, “That’s not what I was expecting,” and then go talk to my teen friends about my new favorite jams in the Dew Zone. Apparently, a woman from Michigan did not have that reaction (I suspect she may not be a Dew Zone regular either). She’s suing the distributors of the film because, “Drive was promoted as very similar to Fast and Furious, when in actuality, it wasn’t,” and “Drive bore very little similarity to a chase, or a race action film, for reasons including, but not limited to, Drive having very little driving in the motion picture.”
Also, last weekend in California, a man was arrested for throwing a hot dog at Tiger Woods during the Frys.com Open golf tournament because, as he put it, “I was inspired by the movie Drive. As soon as the movie ended, I thought to myself, ‘I have to do something courageous and epic. I have to throw a hot dog on the green in front of Tiger.” As my grandmother always told me, “You can’t blame your golf-course wiener pelting on a movie, no matter how inspiring.”
So let’s bring it all back to PR. Are these the kind of things that are considered good PR? I think in these two particular cases, they are. To me, the key is that for each case, the individual involved is the one who comes out looking foolish, while the movie (which has been in theaters for close to a month and probably wouldn’t still be the topic of many articles or blog posts )gets mentioned countless times across hundreds of websites. Who knows if that will turn into money at the box office, but it can’t hurt. Situations like this would allow your favorite PR professional to take a long lunch or make an appointment for a mid-afternoon eyebrow-waxing.
On the other hand, if the movie had inspired someone to recreate a scene that led to them harming themselves or someone else, your PR professional might have to walk around with a unibrow for another week.