Lionsgate films may have an unintentional hit on their hands. Of course, all movie studios want a hit film, but when you hear "horror movie staring Elisha Cuthbert" what do you think of? I immediately think of the sub par House of Wax, staring, along side Cuthbert, Paris Hilton.

So few horror movies are bona fide hits these days that sometimes you have to do something wrong just to get some interest. That's what happened with the new Lionsgage/Elisha Cuthbert horror movie bowing to screens in May titled Captivity.

It appears that someone put up the wrong billboard campaign. The ads, approved by neither company nor the MPAA, have popped up all over L.A. and are now being removed at the studio's expense due to complaints.

After Dark said the posting of the billboards was an accident. CEO Courtney Solomon said the wrong files were sent to the printer, who then passed them on to the billboard company without approval from any executives at After Dark. Executives from the indie production company were attending the ShoWest industry convention in Las Vegas last week and had no idea the wrong billboards were posted until they returned from the convention on Thursday to a flood of e-mails and phone calls from angry parents and offended women.

What a great way to generate some buzz for your (most likely) sub par horror flick!

"Personally, I wasn't going to go with this campaign. I thought it was OTP (over the top)," Solomon said. "Nothing like this can ever happen again." Sources close to the MPAA said the organization had not approved the four-frame ad for Captivity, and the posting of the ad was in clear defiance of MPAA rules and regulations.

I've got no reason not to believe this wasn't a genuine accident but you got to think that the studio and the production company are desperately trying to find out who is responsible so they can give them a raise!

As for the move billboards themselves. Yes, there is a single frame (of four) that I would call objectionable. But you can judge for yourself.

March 21, 2007

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

Search Engine Guide > Stoney deGeyter > A Marketing Campaign Gone Wrong... Or Right?