“Untraceable” Movie Promotion Goes Too Far?…

It’s hard to ignore a sensational advertisement. That’s the point, right? To grab your attention and entice you to dig deeper. It seems the more saturated the media market becomes, the more sensational the headline must be to vie for the consumer’s attention.

But where’s the line between being creative and going too far? And does crossing that line negatively impact results?

This morning while signing on to Myspace I saw an ad for “Untraceable,” a new thriller starring Diane Lane as a cyber-crime investigator tasked with tracking down a serial killer who posts live videos of his victims on the internet. Scary, huh?

The plot line alone is enough to sends chills one’s spine, but how about their ad on myspace?


Are you kidding me? It’s a series of 4 thumbnails that read “Come Kill With Me”, “Your Click Could Be Deadly,” “You Are The Murder Weapon,” and “I Am Untraceable.”

Ok, I get it — it’s a horror movie, but this ad seems to go too far in my opinion. Why would you place an ad on a site mainly used by impressionable teenagers that starts out with “Come Kill With Me?”

I understand opening weekend box off numbers are a big deal. These numbers are often reported like sports scores and if a movie doesn’t have a huge opening, it probably isn’t going to do well. (Of course, there are always exceptions…) That’s where the hype machine comes into play.

Studios spend millions on generating buzz for upcoming movies with nifty promotional campaigns. With the entrance of social media into the mainstream, marketers and advertisers have even more tools at their disposal to reach to the consumer.

Generating buzz and creating hype is one thing, but promoting something that starts out with “Come Kill With Me” can’t be a good idea…EVER.

Granted, by me writing about this, the marketers/advertisers succeeded in getting attention, but they lost out on a ticket sale as I will not pay money to see this movie.


6 responses to ““Untraceable” Movie Promotion Goes Too Far?…

  1. Pingback: » “Untraceable” Movie Promotion Gone Too Far?…

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  3. I agree and don’t agree…

    I saw “UNTRACEABLE” a few weeks ago in London and I found the movie to be presented in a very authentic and sensible manor. It wasn’t overly technical but it atleast “tried” to be reslistic. The film itself was very intense and suspenseful and reminded me of good thrillers like “SE7EN” and “SILENCE OF THE LAMBS”. No… “UNTRACEABLE” won’t win Oscars but it is a great thrillride with more tech savvy than almost any other Hollywoodland cyber-thriller. Recommended.

  4. Hey Kev
    When I saw the TV ad I was interested in the movie. I enjoy a good thriller, plus factoring in the cyber element (something I’m into) gave it a twist. However, the ad posted on Myspace left a bad taste in my mouth. That’s really my gripe. I realize it’s supposed to grab attention, but posting a “Come Kill with Me” promo on a social site used predominately by teenagers is unsettling. Not sure if they’d get away with an ad like that on a Billboard so why target kids with that message?

  5. I saw this film last night and only checked out some of the reviews today. I must say that I’m surprised by the level of animosity that this film is getting. On the one hand, it’s clear that several of the reviewers didn’t actually see the film. Yes, some of the subject matter is clearly distasteful. But that’s the point. The entire film serves as an over the top, ram down your throat allegory for the live streaming violence that our country is gagging for right now. All of this is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the film. Diane Lane is brilliant (as ALWAYS) and there is an intensity in the action and suspense that stays strong throughout the entire film. I was entertained. Not that it was hard to get, but I got it. That’s why I’m so flabbergasted by the marketing people for the film. They TOTALLY missed the boat. For them to promote a film- whose ENTIRE message is that you should NOT react to violent sensationalism- with an ad that features the exact violent sensationalist website that the film works so hard to condemn, is unconscionable. Proof, once again, that the studios don’t seem to think they need to know what their films are about in order to hawk them to the public. Sad. Especially considering that this movie is a lot of fun… AND has an important message.

  6. K8, thanks for your thoughts on the film. Saw quite a few interviews with Diane Lane on different shows this week promoting the film and the way she explains the premise is terrific — they should’ve had her come up with a marketing scheme rather than the idiots who did 🙂

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