Sony is not the only company to attempt to profit from a Kim Jong Un strategy, as this billboard from online dating service Ashley Madison proves. (Photo credit: teakwood, flickr.)
HOLLYWOOD—The release of the film The Interview has been indefinitely delayed due to intimidation by a terrorist organization. But have we all been duped?
In what may be the most elaborate movie marketing scheme to date, Sony Pictures has orchestrated a controversy that could only be manufactured in Hollywood. It involves espionage, death threats and some pretty serious name calling.
“This. Is. Amazing,” said head of marketing at Sony, Jim Sellers. “I mean, we thought this would garner interest for the movie, but we never dreamed it would get this big!”
Sellers admits the idea came out of a casual lunch at the office that turned into a brainstorming session. “Our team was discussing how to promote a comedy about the assassination of Kim Jong Un. Then someone proposed making it look like Sony been hacked by North Korea. After that, the ideas just flowed.”
In late November, a group calling itself “Guardians of Peace” released company emails, financial documents and movies to file-sharing sites. The hackers proclaim this was done in reaction to the vile and offensive new movie The Interview, and have threatened to attack movie theatres that dare to show the film.
“I’ll admit that it’s gotten a little out of hand,” said Sellers. “But this stunt, and subsequently pulling the movie, has caused a firestorm of reaction and interest that we never could have generated using traditional means of marketing. I’m talking world-wide attention! By the time we actually release this puppy, everyone will stand in line to see it.”
When asked whether any of the information leaked was true, Sellers shrugged. “Well, there’s a kernel of truth to some of it I suppose. Mostly, it was just our team taking jabs at people who’ve been assholes over the years. But c’mon. We only released, like, eight or ten social security numbers that are actually accurate.”
Sellers defended his team and maintained the campaign has been a total success. “Look, the studio poured about $45 million into this shitty movie that’s basically a rip-off of Team America: World Police. We had to do something drastic to try and make it profitable.”