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BizReport : Viral Marketing : October 06, 2006

The ‘Snakes On A Plane’ Movie Viral Campaign Questionable

The movie 'Snakes on a Plane' is pioneering a novel viral marketing technique that is highly successful. But some say the campaign's faked long arm reaching out to consumers is questionable and perhaps even distasteful.

by Angelique van Engelen

FastCompany blog contributor Lynne Johnson is no stranger to marketing. Herself an online marketing specialist, she professes to have been somewhat overly surprised at New Line Cinema’s way of telling her about the premiere of Snakes on A Plane.

The company teamed up with the social networking site TagWorld and the phone company VariTalk, which specialises in cell phone viral marketing. The creative marketing product that subsequently hit the road allows people to create cell phone messages using Samuel L. Jackson’s voice to alert each other to the movie.

People receiving the message will at first be very surprised at the intimate knowledge the actor appears to possess about their private lives, creating the memorable experience online brand marketers are so out for. However, Miss Johnson at FastCompany wonders ‘when do these forms of advertising "cross the line from innovative to ill conceived or invasive?" There are no immediate answers to this question. The writers at the blog are discussing this and other aspects of the shift of traditional media into the realm of real world experiences.

The campaign itself in the meantime has resulted in a hype that has made headline news. Over 1.5 million calls were placed during the first week alone. The company also held a soundtrack contest which attracted 500 entries. The winner's proposed soundtrack is published on the official dvd.

Tags: mobile marketing, privacy, Social Networking, viral marketing

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